Dopamine neurons in the midbrain become active in a previously undetected way when an animal considers a reward that is changing in value.
Researchers found specific neurons in the striosome that help mice learn to avoid negative experiences.
Compared to adults, children continue to explore other options than using knowledge to capitalize on reward, to see if the value has changed. Children approach exploration systematically to make sure they don't miss anything.
Older children have stronger neural responses to rewards over punishments later in the afternoon. In younger children, this pattern is reversed.
Cannabis use in males appears to alter sperm before mating, increasing the risk of their offspring developing brain abnormalities in areas associated with mood, memory, learning, and reward.
Reward does not improve visual perception learning unless it is followed by a good night's sleep.
Fear extinction memories and feelings of reward are both stored in neurons that express the Ppp1r1b gene in the posterior of the basolateral amygdala.
Inflammation appears to reduce reward response in females. Reduced activity in the brain's reward system is a key component of anhedonia, the loss of enjoyment in activities, a core feature of depression. The findings may explain why depression is more prevalent in women than in men.