"-- Knowing your money is going to a good cause can activate some of the same pleasure centers in your brain as food and sex, U.S. researchers said Thursday.
People who participated in a study got a charge knowing that their money went to a charity -- even when the contribution was mandatory, like a tax. They felt even better when they voluntarily made a donation, researchers found.
He and colleagues were hoping to find out whether there was something in the act of giving itself -- and not just the social and egotistical reward of being a philanthropist -- that offers satisfaction.
"The fact that we find pleasurable activity in those mandatory tax-like situations strongly suggests the existence of pure altruism," he said."
CNN, June 14, 2007