This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast:
It’s back to our regularly scheduled programming! With the winter holidays looming, our beloved hosts are desperately trying to squeeze the last bit of productivity out of the season. Kat’s wrestling her labmates for equipment and Liam’s been busy planning the tail end of his degree and has gotten the green light to aim start writing a thesis next summer! In the meantime, we’re talking about a new journal that’s promising to give light to ‘orphaned’ experiments, the incredibly space-agey and intriguing possibility of open sourced labware, and the way that Deepak Chopra’s twitter account can teach us about the science of believing the bullshit.
Also this week, we’re taking a look at the role of dopamine in motivation and work with an article in Nature Neuroscience. In it, the authors use a complex decision making task, and precise striatal dopamine measurements to show that the neurotransmitter is involved in the valuating the changing probability of a reward. Although we’re trying to get past yet another unnecessary optogenetic experiment, the model that the authors present does a great job of merging the role of dopamine in two related, but distinct, cognitive functions.
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