Navigation Links
MIT researchers reveal how the brain keeps eyes on the prize
Date:8/4/2013

Cambridge-- As anyone who has traveled with young children knows, maintaining focus on distant goals can be a challenge. A new study from MIT suggests how the brain achieves this task, and indicates that the neurotransmitter dopamine may signal the value of long-term rewards. The findings may also explain why patients with Parkinson's disease in which dopamine signaling is impaired often have difficulty in sustaining motivation to finish tasks.

The work is described this week in the journal Nature.

Previous studies have linked dopamine to rewards, and have shown that dopamine neurons show brief bursts of activity when animals receive an unexpected reward. These dopamine signals are believed to be important for reinforcement learning, the process by which an animal learns to perform actions that lead to reward.

Taking the long view

In most studies, that reward has been delivered within a few seconds. In real life, though, gratification is not always immediate: Animals must often travel in search of food, and must maintain motivation for a distant goal while also responding to more immediate cues. The same is true for humans: A driver on a long road trip must remain focused on reaching a final destination while also reacting to traffic, stopping for snacks, and entertaining children in the back seat.

The MIT team, led by Institute Professor Ann Graybiel who is also an investigator at MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research decided to study how dopamine changes during a maze task approximating work for delayed gratification. The researchers trained rats to navigate a maze to reach a reward. During each trial a rat would hear a tone instructing it to turn either right or left at an intersection to find a chocolate milk reward.

Rather than simply measuring the activity of dopamine-containing neurons, the MIT researchers wanted to measure how much dopamine was released in the striatum, a brai
'/>"/>

Contact: Kimberly Allen
allenkc@mit.edu
617-253-2702
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Mount Sinai researchers develop first successful laboratory model for studying hepatitis C
2. Montana State University researchers highlight bears use of Banff highway crossings
3. HudsonAlpha and UAB researchers work to identify optimal treatments for ER+ breast cancer
4. UPCI researchers target cell sleep to lower chances of cancer recurrence
5. U-M researchers land $2M grant to cooperate with nature on growing algae for energy
6. UT Southwestern researchers identify novel mechanism that helps stomach bug cause illness
7. Researchers uncover cellular mechanisms for attention in the brain
8. Notre Dame researchers develop system that uses a big data approach to personalized healthcare
9. U of M researchers unveil nations first porcine virus rapid detection test
10. Researchers reveal the clearest new pictures of immune cells
11. Researchers describe potential for MERS coronavirus to spread internationally
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/19/2014)... 2014 Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/86ncd6/micro_market ... Market Monitor: North America Perimeter Security Systems Market" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 The North American perimeter security ... 3.6% from 2014 to 2019. Although the U.S. market ... Canada is expected to grow at a ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... DUBLIN , Dec. 15, 2014 Research ... announced the addition of the "Samsung Galaxy ... Analysis" report to their offering. ... on a totally different sensing technology than the ... a fingerprint sensor in its product. ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... , Dec. 16, 2014 Valencell, a leader ... PerformTek biometric technology to industry leaders such as Intel, ... clinically validated, biometric wearable products. These products will be ... Las Vegas . ... accurate, flexible and robust – with the clinical data ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Micro Market Monitor: North America Perimeter Security Systems Market (Intrusion Detection Sensor, Video Surveillance, Communication/Alarm and Notification, Access Control System) 2Micro Market Monitor: North America Perimeter Security Systems Market (Intrusion Detection Sensor, Video Surveillance, Communication/Alarm and Notification, Access Control System) 3Samsung Galaxy S5 - Home Button Synaptics Fingerprint Sensor Technology Analysis 2Valencell PerformTek Biometrics Power the Most Accurate Wearables at CES 2015 2
... of researchers has discovered seven new regions of the ... age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness. ... representing 18 research groups, also confirmed 12 loci identified ... in Nature Genetics and represents the most ...
... published in the journal Science reveals a decline ... Illinois. The study could not have been conducted without the ... new research., Charles Robertson, a self-taught entomologist who studied zoology ... was one of the first scientists to make detailed records ...
... Changes made by humans to the natural landscapes can ... survival. Pollination of crops by wild insects is one ... in many agricultural landscapes. The study, recently published in ... the ongoing loss of wild insects impacts crop harvest. ...
Cached Biology News:International consortium discovers seven new genomic regions associated with AMD 2International consortium discovers seven new genomic regions associated with AMD 3Illinois town provides a historical foundation for today's bee research 2Wild pollinators increase crop fruit set regardless of honey bees 2
(Date:12/24/2014)... (PRWEB) December 23, 2014 On ... law H.R. 83, the Omnibus and Continuing Resolution ... time, made hydrocephalus a condition eligible to receive ... (CDMRP) administered by the Department of Defense (DoD). ... its allies on Capitol Hill, is celebrating this ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... 23, 2014 Pipette.com announces their ... followers can submit their #HolidayInTheLab pictures for a chance ... mates. , For those struggling to think of a ... Holiday in the Lab Contest provides the ideal holiday ... to send pictures of their chemistree, holiday sweaters, ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... 23, 2014  Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (NASDAQ: ... a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) with the ... (MHRA) seeking regulatory approval to initiate clinical trials for ... Contingent on the Company receiving CTA regulatory ... trial to assess the safety, tolerability and dose escalation ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... HILL, N.C. , Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... today announced that it has signed a letter ... company that has developed and patented a nanotechnology-based ... medical diagnostics products that enable rapid on-site collection ... alcohol use/abuse and health issues in an immediate, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Rare Brain Condition Now Eligible for Department of Defense Research Dollars 2Major Pipette Distributor Pipette.com Announces their Holiday in the Lab Contest 2Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Files Clinical Trial Application in the UK for Clinical Trials of Anatabine Citrate Formulations 2Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Files Clinical Trial Application in the UK for Clinical Trials of Anatabine Citrate Formulations 3ALNE Announces Intention To Acquire BioTechPharma 2
... method amplifies cells available for science , ,ANAHEIM ... biomedical research, human embryonic stem cells are stored and ... Fahrenheit, the temperature of their liquid nitrogen storage bath. ... in the lab, less than 1 percent awake from ...
... speaking to a group of PR account executives when one woman ... phrasing her question, seeking my opinion on the proliferation of mobile ... lives. I get that question a lot, in one form or ... , ,We are at the very earliest days of a new ...
... been lionized in the press and academic circles for ... and stellar financial results. While these leaders and the ... philosophies they represent and the practices they espouse are ... yank approach to pruning the bottom 10% of the ...
Cached Biology Technology:Making the most of stem cells 2Making the most of stem cells 3The age of human computing? 2The age of human computing? 3Seven leadership lessons of Next Generation Companies 2Seven leadership lessons of Next Generation Companies 3
... through 63 ligand binding ... a broad therapeutic range. ... many non human tissue ... assays. Used to ...
...
... Sequencer 20 System revolutionizes DNA sequencing, delivering ... The Genome Sequencer 20 System includes: ... and consumables for library construction, amplification, and ... de novo assembly The ...
... to the maintenance of appropriate levels ... important and diverse as those involved ... stress response, antigen presentation, modulation of ... cell cycle regulation, transcription, and signalling ...
Biology Products: