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Frontiers news briefs: May 23
Date:5/23/2013

ritish Columbia, Canada, here show that hungry rats experience a similar abrupt neural change when they stumble upon food in an unfamiliar environment. They recorded patterns of activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area implicated in the regulation of behavior and emotion. When the rats first realized that food had to begun to literally drop from above, their patterns of brain activity changed abruptly and dramatically from preceding patterns, characteristic of hungry rats that are busy exploring a new enclosure. Not only were the patterns completely different after finding the food, but they were also simpler. Seamans et al. conclude that whenever a critical goal is realized, the medial prefrontal cortex can change abruptly from a "search state", where many outcomes are possible, to a simpler "consumption state" that needs to consider fewer outcomes: principally, the outcome of digging into tasty food.

URL: http://www.frontiersin.org/Decision_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnins.2013.00074/abstract

Researcher contact

Prof Jeremy K. Seamans
Department of Psychiatry
Brain Research Centre
University of British Columbia
Tel. : +1 6048227759
E-mail: Jeremy.seamans@ubc.ca


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Contact: Gozde Zorlu
gozde.zorlu@frontiersin.org
Frontiers
Source:Eurekalert

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