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September 26, 2019 Thursday 06:34:00 AM IST

Science behind motivation

Teacher Insights

Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine spent four years looking at the role of nociceptin peptides (components of cells) in regulating motivation and as to what happens when we give up.

Inside the brain, a group of cells get very active before a breakpoint. They emit nociceptin, a complex molecule that suppresses dopamine, a chemical largely associated with motivation.
The findings, reported in Cell, offer new insight into the complex world of motivation and reward.

The nociceptin peptides are located near an area of the brain known as the Ventral Tegmental Area. The VTA contains neurons that release dopamine during pleasurable activities. This study is among the first to describe the effects of this complex nociceptin modulatory system.In mammals, the neural circuits that underlie reward seeking are regulated by mechanisms to keep homeostasis - the tendency to maintain internal stability to compensate for environmental changes.Deficits within these regulatory processes in humans can manifest as behavioural dysfunctions, including depression, addiction, and eating disorders.


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