“So, this MacBook Air, let’s stipulate that that’s cool. If I look at it, it’s going to stimulate the same part of the brain as if I won at gambling or took some cocaine?” What is it that makes us want to get the cool, new thing? Well, for starters you can blame a section of your brain called the medial prefrontal cortex (although the ventral striatum is by no means innocent). The same central reward structure involved in most forms of addiction is also activated when thinking about social status or even imagining yourself in possession of the latest status symbol. Here’s Newhour on why we crave what’s cool. (Full disclosure: I’m typing this on a Macbook Air.)