The following is an excerpt from James Gallagher | March 6, 2017 | BBC.com |
Three UK-based scientists have won a prestigious prize worth 1m euros for studying the brain's reward centre.
Their work helps understand our drive to shop, eat or even land on the moon.
Reward is necessary for keeping us alive, but it can also spiral out of control leading to gambling and drug addiction.
Wolfram Schultz, Peter Dayan and Ray Dolan said winning The Brain Prize - the biggest in the field of neuroscience - was a "great honour".
Prof Schultz is planning a holiday with the family, but his co-winners are still trying to figure out how to spend their prize money from Denmark's Lundbeck Foundation.
Our lives are spent constantly making decisions - should I eat in that restaurant, where should I go on holiday, should I apply for a new job, should I keep reading this story or move on?
One of the winners, Prof Peter Dayan from UCL, told the BBC: "Reward is exactly how we optimise those choices."
The trio's work over three decades has unravelled the critical role of the brain chemical dopamine.
It triggers a set of brain cells to respond whenever there is a reward. And eventually the brain responds even in anticipation of the reward.
For more visit: BBC.com