In a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study, researchers used brain imaging to connect human brain activity to ideas from behavioral economics. Led by Hans Breiter, M.D., the research team discovered that monetary rewards activate a part of the brain that responds to other rewards, like drugs and food. This study was the first to show that
receiving financial compensation in a gambling-like experiment triggers brain activity similar to that of a cocaine addict receiving cocaine.
The research findings were published in Neuron in 2001.