bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Simple bee brains help addiction studies

Studying bees' brains is helping understand addiction. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, are using the simple brain of the bee to build computer models of how a bee assimilates and responds to information about rewards. Predictions from computer modelling of the bee brain can be tested via human brain imaging studies.
For example, Terrence Sejnowski [a professor of biology at both the Salk Institute and UCSD] said that by using functional magnetic resonance imaging, which measures blood flow to reveal which regions of the brain are active, researchers in his laboratory have discovered that our brains process information about rewards differently if a reward is granted immediately for a simple behavior or if a person must work to receive the reward.


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