Question: What addiction-like feedback loops can occur in informational beings?
Our hypothesis: Informational structures as complex as human brains require highly specific informational environments to stay in proper calibration, i.e. "natural statistics" in the fullest possible sense:
If any of those features are absent--in particular if the sensory input is structured specifically for human consumption, as one finds in man-made environments and technology--then such input might sate the desire for naturalistic input without providing the needed re-calibration, thereby resulting in further de-calibration, further desire, and possibly addiction.
Attractive but statistically un-natural input creates informational addiction.
Test: Determine whether 3-D social skills (e.g. reading moods from faces) suffers disproportionately among those who spend the most time "socializing" via screens rather than face-to-face.
Refutation: Show that social communication via screens promotes social skills and confidence.
(Every parent I know is familiar with at least one child whose social skills suffer from some form of screen addiction: gaming, internet, texting, etc. In fact there seems to be a mental-health crisis worldwide, specifically relating social dysfunction and technology over-consumption).
The figures below show self-calibration strategies as functions of environmental entropy (shown as Bell curves, with low entropy at left and high entropy at right).