Brain Wave

India Today - - SNAPSHOTS -

The next time some­one says that they do not like your work­ing style, blame it on the dopamine lev­els in your brain. Ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science, dopamine lev­els in three dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the brain in­flu­ence our will­ing­ness to work. The study used positron emis­sion to­mog­ra­phy ( PET) to im­age the brains of a cross- sec­tion of par­tic­i­pants, from go- get­ters to slack­ers. The par­tic­i­pants were asked to choose from a range of tasks— some sim­ple, oth­ers far more dif­fi­cult— in ex­change for vary­ing mon­e­tary re­wards. The re­searchers found that peo­ple will­ing to work hard to earn re­wards had higher re­lease of dopamine— a “feel- good” neu­ro­trans­mit­ter— in ar­eas of the brain known to play an im­por­tant role in re­ward and mo­ti­va­tion— the stria­tum and ven­tro­me­dial pre­frontal cor­tex. Peo­ple who weren’t keen to work, how­ever, had higher lev­els of dopamine in part of the brain that plays a role in emo­tion and risk per­cep­tion, called the an­te­rior in­sula.

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