Posted on: 9 April 2020

A part of the brain may explain why addicts are so often orientated towards immediate rewards, according to Dr Ryan Kemp, CNWL’s Director of Therapies.   

Dr Kemp’s argument is contained in a paper called “Addiction as temporal disruption: interoception, self, meaning” in which he explores why addicts are so often orientated towards immediate rewards.

His paper is published in the scientific journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, in a special edition on “Disordered Temporalities” where scientists and philosophers explore the experience of time in mental health issues.

Dr Kemp reviewed the neuroscience and psychological evidence and argued that a part of the brain – the anterior insula – is the key site of influence.

Dr Kemp argued that because this part of the brain is also crucial in our sense of self and the creation of personal meaning it also helps understand why individuals with substance misuse problems often report challenges in these dimensions of living.

The link to the volume is here.