Reading in the presence of a canine friend may be the page-turning motivation young children need, research from the University Of British Columbia suggests. “Our study focused on whether a child would be motivated to continue reading longer and persevere through moderately challenging passages when they are accompanied by a dog,” said Camille Rousseau, a… Read more

Alterations in the connectivity of cerebral white matter associated with the diverse nature of apathy in Huntington’s disease have been identified by researchers[1]. The finding suggest a potential use of this syndrome as a biomarker of disease progression, and may lead to personalized treatments for apathy as a multidimensional syndrome in other neurodegenerative disorders. “Our… Read more

What happens when we give up? Inside the brain, a group of cells known as nociceptin neurons get very active before a mouse’s breakpoint. They emit nociceptin, a complex molecule that suppresses dopamine, a chemical largely associated with motivation. The findings offer new insight into the complex world of motivation and reward. The nociceptin neurons… Read more

It’s not unusual for a person to think they’re doing worse than they actually are. Some of us are just pessimistic. Progress can also be hard to see sometimes unless you’re looking in the right places for it. If you feel like you’re working hard with little to show for it, you’re probably mistaken. It’s… Read more

Dopamine neurons regulate response conditioning through circuit-specific motivational signals to shape cue-controlled behaviors, new research from the University of Minnesota suggests. University of Minnesota Medical School neuroscientist Benjamin Saunders, Ph.D., used a Pavlovian model of conditioning to see if turning on a light — a simple cue — just before dopamine neurons were activated could… Read more