Navigation Links
The brain's motivation station

The prospect of a paycheck, good grade, or promotion wonderfully concentrates the mind, and researchers have now identified the brain circuitry responsible for such reward-motivated learning.

In an article in the May 4, 2006, Neuron, Alison Adcock and colleagues report brain-scanning studies in humans that reveal how specific reward-related brain regions "alert" the brain's learning and memory regions to promote memory formation.

In their studies, the researchers asked volunteers to participate in two types of reward-related tasks as they scanned the subjects' brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this technique, harmless magnetic fields and radio waves are used to detect regions of higher blood flow in the brain, which reflects higher activity.

In the first task, the researchers aimed at identifying the region involved in anticipating rewards. This task involved presenting the subjects with such symbols as circles or squares that indicated an amount of money the subjects could gain or lose--from no money to $5--by rapidly responding to a subsequently presented target by pressing a button. The subjects were notified immediately whether they had received the reward. The researchers found that reward anticipation activated specific brain structures in the "mesolimbic" region involved in the processing of emotions.

In the second task, the researchers sought to measure how this reward center promoted memory formation. They first showed subjects a "value" symbol that signified whether the image of a scene that followed would yield $5 or ten cents if they remembered it the next day. Then they showed the subjects the scene, and the next day tested their ability to pick the scene out of a group.

The researchers found that the subjects were far more likely to remember high-value scenes than low-value scenes. Importantly, they found that the cues to the high-reward scenes that were later remembered--but not those scenes later forgotten--activated the reward areas of the mesolimbic region as well as the learning-related hippocampus in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) of the brain. Activation prior to scene visualization suggests that the brain actually prepares in advance to filter incoming information rather than simply reacting to the world. Activation of the MTL is associated with higher brain functions, including learning and memory, and subjects who showed greater activation in these regions also showed better memory performance, found Adcock and colleagues.

The researchers concluded that the learning mechanism they identified "may let an organism's expectations and motivation interact with events in the physical world to influence learning. Thus, anticipatory activation of this mesolimbic circuit may help translate motivation into memory."


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
2. Deep sleep short-circuits brains grid of connectivity
3. Thinking the pain away? Study shows the brains painkillers may cause placebo effect
4. Endocannabinoids ?the brains cannabis ?demonstrate novel modes of action to stress
5. Animal models show that anabolic steroids flip the adolescent brains switch for aggression
6. Both alcoholism and chronic smoking can damage the brains prefrontal cortex
7. Tiny RNA molecules fine-tune the brains synapses
8. Aggression-related gene weakens brains impulse control circuits
9. Oops! Researchers publish new findings on the brains response to costly mistakes
10. Flick of whiskers helps tease out brains shadow signaling system
11. The brains executive is an event planner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/28/2016)... "The biometric system market projected to ... system market is in the growth stage and is ... biometric system market is expected to be valued at ... 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government initiative in adoption ... rising use of biometric technology in financial institutes and ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... 2016   Neurotechnology , a provider of ... announced that the MegaMatcher On Card fingerprint matching ... the NIST Minutiae Interoperability Exchange (MINEX) III ... steps of the evaluation protocol. ... of fingerprint templates used to establish compliance of ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... Calif. , Nov. 16, 2016 ... user experience and security for consumer electronics, and ... the financial and retail industry, today announced a ... and convenient way to authenticate users of mobile ... Sensory,s TrulySecure™ software which requires no ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... In anticipation of AxioMed’s exclusive ... production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be traveling to Switzerland from December 5-10. ... Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich to discuss the benefits of a viscoelastic disc. AxioMed ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec 2, 2016 Research ... report "Nanobiotechnology Applications, Markets and Companies" to their ... , , ... nanobiotechnology by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is anticipated. Nanotechnology ... from formulations for optimal delivery to diagnostic applications in clinical ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... (IO360°) event is expanding to three days and will take place on February 1-3, ... Hoos (GSK) and Dr James Gulley (NCI), the program provides a unique 360-degree approach, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016   SurePure, Inc. (OTCQB: SURP) a ... Company has concluded an agreement with Tamarack Biotics under ... period to acquire units of the Company,s patented photopurification ... million.  Concurrently with the option, SurePure ... Tamarack will seek regulatory approvals in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: