Navigation Links
Sense of Adventure Rests in Primitive Brain Region
Date:6/25/2008

But dopamine reward system may also play role in less desirable addictions, expert says

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Your sense of adventure comes from a primitive area of the brain called the ventral striatum, British researchers say.

Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London used fMRI to track brain activity in volunteers and found the ventral striatum was activated when participants chose unfamiliar items over familiar ones. This may be an evolutionary feature shared by many animals, the researchers said.

"Seeking new and unfamiliar experiences is a fundamental behavioral tendency in humans and animals," Dr. Bianca Wittmann said in a prepared statement.

"It makes sense to try new options, as they may prove advantageous in the long run. For example, a monkey who chooses to deviate from its diet of bananas, even if this involves moving to an unfamiliar part of the forest and eating a new type of food, may find its diet enriched and more nutritious," she said.

The ventral stratium is one of the key areas involved in the brain's rewards processing system, which helps humans learn behaviors that are beneficial and worth repeating. While Wittmann and her colleagues didn't determine exactly how seeking new and unfamiliar experiences is rewarded, they suspect it may be through the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

While the ventral stratium may be beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint, it can make people more susceptible to certain types of marketing.

"I might have my own favorite choice of chocolate bar, but if I see a different bar repackaged, advertising its 'new, improved flavor,' my search for novel experience may encourage me to move away from my usual choice," Wittmann explained. "This introduces the danger of being sold 'old wine in a new skin,' and is something that marketing departments take advantage of."

The brain's reward system for making novel choices could have even more serious consequences, said study co-author Professor Nathaniel Daw.

"The novelty bonus may be useful in helping us make complex, uncertain decisions, but it clearly has a downside. In humans, increased novelty-seeking may play a role in gambling and drug addiction, both of which are mediated by malfunctions in dopamine release," Daw said.

The study was published online in Neuron.

More information

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about the brain.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Wellcome Trust, news release, June 25, 2008


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

Related medicine news :

1. Balancing Dollars and Health Sense
2. Brains Olfactory Bulb Grows With Sense of Smell
3. Maine Community Pharmacy Owner Thanks Sen. Snowe for Supporting Inclusion of Common-Sense Reimbursement Provisions in Medicare Bill
4. Oregon Community Pharmacy Owner Thanks Sen. Smith for Supporting Inclusion of Common-Sense Reimbursement Provisions in Medicare Bill
5. Montana Community Pharmacy Owner Thanks Sen. Baucus for Including Common-Sense Reimbursement Provisions in Medicare Bill
6. New WaveSense Presto(TM) and Pro(TM) Glucose Meters to Simplify Testing
7. Serotonin Levels Determine Sense of Fairness
8. Isis Partners Present Clinical Data on Antisense Drugs at the American Society of Clinical Oncology
9. With age comes a sense of peace and calm
10. With age comes a sense of peace and calm, population research center study shows
11. BodyMedia Releases New & Improved SenseWear(R) WMS Armband
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are ... many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for a Fair Minimum ... by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same rate as the ... wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. , The company ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its ... Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and other difficult to transfect cells, ... Cloning Medium. The PluriQ™ G9™ Gene Editing System is a complete ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical ... structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs ... company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, ... Technologies , Inc. Patients are no longer limited ... ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... drugs, announced today that it was added to the ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes ... important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: