Brain Region Discovered That Stops You Being a Couch Potato

Posted by K R on

The area of the brain which may control the motivation to exercise — along with other rewarding activities — has been identified by a new study. The tiny area of the brain, called the dorsal medial habenula, was found to control mice’s motivation to exercise (Turner et al., 2014). Since the brain structure is similar in humans and mice, it is likely that the effects on motivation and the emotions are the same. Dr. Eric Turner, the study’s lead author, suggests the research might be the first step in developing new treatments for depression:
“Changes in physical activity and the inability to enjoy rewarding or pleasurable experiences are two hallmarks of major depression. But the brain pathways responsible for exercise motivation have not been well understood. Now, we can seek ways to manipulate activity within this specific area of the brain without impacting the rest of the brain’s activity.”
The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, used mice whose brains were genetically engineered to block signals from the dorsal medial habenula. via PsyBlog.

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