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:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Focused ... innovation in the industry, according to the recent NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on ... of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, a qualified group of U.S. executives, clinical ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new directory from the Senior Veterans ... connect elderly veterans of America's armed forces to a range of senior care ... on this year's increase in the Veterans Pension with Aid & Attendance for ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... For the first time, International Scholarship and ... floor for the 2017 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition at the Orange ... than 40,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected at the conference, where they will ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Access today ... Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., February 19-23. Visitors to the company’s booth (#1778) will ... used electronic patient signatures solution in healthcare . , Since it first ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics workflow solution provider ... 20 – 22 in San Francisco. As part of the Tri-Conference expo, which ... workflow solution, as well as its new precision medicine platform, “Crosswalk Insight: Oncology™.” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for ... Vincent J. Angotti has been appointed ... company,s board of directors, effective Monday, March 6, ... experience leading executive and commercial teams at public ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Prescription pain medications ... department visit are necessary for long-term opioid use to ... Feb. 16 th edition of The New ... "Emergency physicians see more patients in acute pain than ... Parker , MD, FACEP, president of the American College ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Function, Application, Cancer Type, Technology - Forecast to 2025" report ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 28.6% over the next decade ... Some of the prominent trends that the market is witnessing include ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: