Feeling motivated and focused? Here’s why:

According to new research, dopamine has been found to change the function of the prefrontal cortex – the neurotransmitter doesn’t have as much effect on individual cells, but “generates sustained activity in the ensemble of cells in the prefrontal cortex that lasts for up to 20 minutes.” (“Dopamine conducts”, 2019).

This finding implies that dopamine has a deeper effect on more complex brain mechanisms, such as level of motivation and attention. To test this, researchers exposed rodents to light to active dopamine activity – it’s found that disruptions in this brain oscillation can lead to disorders related to schizophrenia and ADHD (“Dopamine conducts”, 2019).

“Dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the brain plays a role in almost all aspects of high order cognition, including attention and behavioral flexibility,” (“Dopamine conducts”, 2019).  It’s hopeful that this finding can offer further insight on how to treat lack of attention, focus, and motivation.

Reference: Oregon Health & Science University. (2019, April 2). Dopamine conducts prefrontal cortex ensembles: Study reports novel ways that dopamine cells influence the function of prefrontal cortex of the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 4, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190402113136.htm