I love being out in the sun if it’s not too hot. Could it be that my brain reacts the same way it would to desert?
This is an interesting study comparing the activity of the brain when people who like to tan indoors are exposed to UV light and when the tanning beds didn’t expose them to UV.
A study in 2005 did show that a large proportion of sunbathers met the psychiatric definition of a substance abuse disorder, based on their answers to a variation of a test often used to help diagnose alcohol addiction.
But Dr. Adinoff and his colleagues decided to go a step further. They recruited a small group of people from tanning salons who said that they liked to tan at least three times a week and that maintaining a tan was important to them. The frequent tanners agreed to be injected with a radioisotope that allowed researchers to monitor how tanning affected their brain activity.
On one occasion, the study subjects experienced a normal tanning session. But on another occasion, the researchers used a special filter that blocked only the UV light, although the tanners weren’t told of the change.
More at LifeEthics.org: http://lifeethics.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/how-tanning-changes-the-brain-nytimes-com/