Monday, January 17, 2022

Different circuits in the brain for reward seeking and novelty seeking.

Work by Ogasawara et al. is noted by Peter Stern.
Novelty seeking is a key feature of intelligent behavior and adaptive cognition. However, we know little about the circuits that regulate our attraction to novel objects for novelty’s sake. Ogasawara et al. discovered that a brain nucleus called the zona incerta was causally related to novelty seeking. A region in the anterior medial temporal lobe projected to the zona incerta and sent motivational signals required to control novelty seeking through the zona incerta circuit. A novelty-seeking task, in which monkeys were motivated by the receipt of novel objects, showed that this behavior was not regulated by the dopamine reward-seeking circuitry. This work provides evidence for a clear dissociation in the brain circuitry between reward seeking and novelty seeking.

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