Neuroscience

Dopamine primes the brain for enhanced vigilance

Imagine a herd of deer grazing in the forest. Suddenly, a twig snaps nearby, and they look up from the grass. The thought of food is forgotten, and the animals are primed to respond to any threat that might appear.

Neuroscience

Dopamine drives early addiction to heroin

Scientists have made a major advance in untangling the brain circuits that lead to the powerful addictive effects of heroin, a study in the open-access journal eLife reports.

Neuroscience

New sensors track dopamine in the brain for more than year

Dopamine, a signaling molecule used throughout the brain, plays a major role in regulating our mood, as well as controlling movement. Many disorders, including Parkinson's disease, depression, and schizophrenia, are linked ...

Neuroscience

A gene required for addictive behavior

Cocaine can have a devastating effect on people. It directly stimulates the brain's reward center, and, more importantly, induces long-term changes to the reward circuitry that are responsible for addictive behaviors. Alban ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Stress affects people with schizophrenia differently, study shows

Stressful situations affect the brain and body differently in people with schizophrenia compared to people without the mental illness or individuals at high risk for developing psychosis, a new CAMH study shows. The relationship ...

Neuroscience

In pursuit of pleasure, brain learns to hit the repeat button

In a scientific first, researchers have observed in mice how the brain learns to repeat patterns of neural activity that elicit the all-important feel-good sensation. Until today, the brain mechanisms that guide this type ...

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