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What’s behind our drive for rewards?


“While filming for the PBS special, “”Brains on Trial with Alan Alda,”” Alan visited with Dr. Josh Buckholtz of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. Josh has personal ties to studying the drive behind rewards. As a teenager, he was especially impulsive recognizing now that his prefrontal cortex took a long time to fully develop.

In this video, Josh is testing people’s desire for rewards, in this case, offering some money now or more money later. He hypothesizes that dopamine drives impulsivity. In addition, he has also been studying how dopamine surges can combat depression. We watch Melissa, who suffers from severe depression, try to overcome her impulses both with and without dopamine.

[Source: Brains On Trial YouTube link]