- June, 09 2016
- Dr. Sam Ozersky, MD
Using a new brain imaging strategy, researchers at Duke University shed light on our potential to become more motivated and more productive if we can learn to control the part of our brain, ventral tegmental area (VTA), most essential to volition.
Scientists took a first step in understanding how to manipulate neurotransmitter circuits involved in volition using thoughts and imagery.
In the study, participants were placed in an MRI scanner and asked to generate feelings of motivation -- using their own personal strategies -- during 20-second intervals. Participants weren't able to raise their VTA activity consistently on their own. However, when the scientists provided participants with neurofeedback from the VTA, presented in the form of a fluctuating thermometer, participants were...