A research team led by neuroscience PhD student Scott Hayton has pinpointed the area of the brain that controls impulsive behavior and the mechanisms that affect how impulsive behavior is learned. The findings could have a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of several disorders and addictions, including ADHD and alcoholism.
"In the classroom, kids often blurt out answers before they raise their hand. With time, they learn to hold their tongue and put up their hand until the teacher calls them. We wanted to know how this type of learning occurs in the brain," says Mr. Hayton, a PhD student at the Centre for Neuroscience Studies at Queen's. "Our research basically told us where the memory for this type of inhibition is in the brain, and how it is encoded."
The team trained rats to control impulsive responses until a signal was presented. Electrical signals between cells in the brain's frontal lobe grew stronger as they learned to control their impulses. This showed that impulsivity is represented, in a specific brain region, by a change in communication between neurons.
Impulsivity is often thought of as a personality trait, something that makes one person different from another.
Children who have difficulty learning to control a response often have behavioral problems which continue into adulthood, says Professor Cella Olmstead, the principal investigator on the study. She notes that impulsivity is a primary feature of many disorders including addiction, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder and gambling. Identifying the brain region and mechanism that controls impulsivity is a critical step in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.
"In conditions where learning does not occur properly, it is possible that it is this mechanism that has been impaired," adds co-investigator neuroscience Professor Eric Dumont.
The findings were recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Kristyn Wallace | EurekAlert!
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research