Reading is sexy. Researchers have found that learning new words stimulates your ventral striatum, the same part of your brain that makes things like sex, playing poker, and eating cake so good [via Mic]. Thirty-six participants took part in gambling activities and language-learning exercises, and the results, published in Current Biology, showed the same parts of the brain being activated in each activity.
The researchers believe this means our brains actively want us to learn more and rewards people for picking up a dictionary and flipping through the pages. From an evolutionary perspective, it gave our ancestors a reason to come up with new, descriptive words. Now, it just explains why your dad loves doing the Sunday crossword so much. Edification through new terminology might not sound as good as a body-quaking orgasm, but your brain won't know the difference.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.