Source: Brave New Words (2009) by Jeff Prucher


wirehead hedonism?

wirehead n. someone who directly stimulates the pleasure centers of their brain with electric current, especially someone addicted to this activity.

1973 L. Niven Defenseless Dead in Playgrounds of the Mind (1992) 386: You can't get a wirehead's attention either, when house current is trickling down a fine wire from the top of his skull into the pleasure center of his brain.

1979 S. Robinson God Is Iron in Time Travelers Strictly Cash (2001) 87: But I had never seen a wirehead. it is by definition a solitary vice, and all the public gets to see is a sheeted figure being carried out to the wagon.

1987 N. Spinrad Little Heroes (1989) 157: The powers that be couldn't care less if indigents sold to other indigents wirehead devices that would fry their brains beyond employability.

1996 JD vinge Dreamfall (2004) 195: I woke up alone, lying on the floor with the pattermn of the carpet pressed into my cheek, like a wirehead sprawled in a gutter after a reality burnout.

* * *

wireheading n. the act of directly stimulating the pleasure centers of one's brain with an electric current.

1973 L. Niven Flash Crowd in R. Silverberg Three Trips in Time & Space 7: "Legalize direct current stimulus!" she screamed at him [...] "Legalize wireheading!"

1979 S. Robinson God Is Iron in Time Travelers Strictly Cash (2001) 87: I knew about wireheading of course - I had lost a couple of acquaintances and one friend to the juice.

1993 Wired (Internet) (Sept./Oct.): I heard rumors of brain power amplification devices, wire-heading (recreational shock therapy), and most disturbing of all, claims that people are actually poking holes in their heads and directly stimulating their brains.

2001 C.J. Dorsey Paradigm of Earth (2002) 74: What about recreational drug use and wireheading?
and further reading

BLTC Research
The Orgasmic Brain
Wirehead: the game
The Good Drug Guide
First Brain Prosthesis?
Utilitarianism On The Net
The Hedonistic Imperative
Electrical Brain Stimulation
Critique of Brave New World
When Is It Best To Take Crack Cocaine?
Addicted brains; the chemistry of pain and pleasure
Pleasure Evoked by Electrical Stimulation of the Brain
An Information-Processing Perspective on Life in Heaven