Navigation Links
Bling Makes Your Brain Sing
Date:12/24/2008

'Rewarding' objects receive star status in neurological vision systems, study shows

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A sports car, a diamond ring, ice cream -- some things may make the human brain "pop."

So finds new research showing that neural vision systems get turned on by expensive or "rewarding" objects, even before people realize they're excited.

When you know that an object has been rewarding in the past, "your brain is representing them differently," said John Serences, a professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego. "That may mean that you're seeing things that are of high value more clearly or sharply."

The research suggests that even the parts of the brain that handle the very beginning of the vision-processing system can tell whether something is valuable and should be flagged, Serences said.

In the new study, published in the Dec. 26 issue of the journal Neuron, Serences scanned the brains of 14 college students using fMRI technology, which allows scientists to detect activity in the brain.

The subjects played a game in which they were told to choose between red and green targets. They got 10 cents -- up to a total of $10 -- each time they chose certain targets.

The students learned that some targets would reward them and some wouldn't, and the fMRI imaging showed that their brains reacted differently to targets that had been monetarily rewarding in the past.

"One of the implications is that your brain is signaling to you that the items have been previously rewarded," Serences said. "Our brain is treating those things differently than those that have been associated with no rewards or those that have been associated with fewer rewards than in the past."

In an unusual finding, the researchers found that the brains of the subjects seemed to remember which targets were more rewarding even if the subjects themselves actually forgot.

Is this a uniquely human ability? Serences said that isn't clear, although he wouldn't be surprised if other animals have the same skills. "Monkeys would probably have the same thing, and I wouldn't be surprised if a dog did, too," he said.

Plenty of factors go into decisions about things that we think are rewarding, of course, and the instant judgments of our brains may play just one part in a wider picture. For example, Serences said, our choices about eating ice cream or vegetables may depend on things like whether we're on a diet.

But the findings suggest that there may be an ingrained bias in the human brain, he said. "Right from the start, you might be predisposed to the ice cream, because your brain is more predisposed to it than the vegetables."

More information

Learn about neuroeconomics, the study of how our brains make decisions, at Cal Tech.



SOURCES: John Serences, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of California, San Diego; Dec. 26, 2008, Neuron


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite grumbling, most Americans say they are happy at work
2. Depression May Be Worlds Most Disabling Disease
3. Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem gambling
4. Aggression in adolescents is influenced by siblings
5. Humor and Hope Sustain NJ Woman Through Disabling Movement Disorder, Election Campaign
6. ReBuilder Medical Technologies, Inc. Reports Monthly Sales in 2007 Nearly Doubling Monthly Sales in 2006, Including Record Daily Sales in September 2007
7. Annual report to the nation finds cancer death rate decline doubling
8. UT rheumatologists discover 2 genes related to disabling form of arthritis
9. New peptide communication factor enabling bacteria to talk to each other discovered
10. Siblings Often Share Heart Risks
11. Pharmaceutical Product Commercialization: Enabling Teams to Excel
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bling Makes Your Brain Sing
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... TherapySites, the leading website and ... Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to extend ... exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this new ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a ... can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers ... Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not ... comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers ... Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: