Why do we do things or strive for a goal? Neurologically, the answer is hidden in the brain’s reward system , an evolutionary mechanism that controls our willingness to work or take a risk as a cost to achieve our goals and enjoy the perceived rewards.
In people with depression, schizophrenia, or Parkinson’s disease, the brain’s reward system is often affected, leading to a state of decreased motivation for work or chronic fatigue.
Cost benefit relation
To find a way to overcome debilitating behavioral blocks, neuroscientists are investigating the "anatomy" of the reward system and determining how it evaluates cost-benefit.
A research group, in fact, has published a study in which they focused on dopamine , the "neurotransmitter" or the signaling molecule that plays the central role in the induction of motivation and the regulation of behavior based on the analysis cost-benefit. The effect of dopamine in the brain is transmitted through dopamine receptors, or molecular anchors that bind dopamine molecules and propagate signals through the brain’s neural network.
However, as these receptors have different roles in dopamine signal transduction, it was imperative to assess their relative impacts on dopamine signaling. Therefore, using macaque monkeys as models, the researchers set out to decipher the roles of two classes of dopamine receptors, the D1-like receptor (D1R) and the D2-like receptor (D2R), in the development of motivation-based motivation. benefit and cost .
The researchers observed that decision-making based on perceived benefit and cost required the participation of both D1R and D2R, both to incentivize motivation (the process in which the size of rewards inspired monkeys to perform tasks ) as well as increasing the delay discount (the tendency to prefer immediate minor rewards over larger but delayed rewards). It was also clear that dopamine transmission through D1R and D2R regulates the cost-based motivational process through different neurobiological processes to obtain benefits or "reward availability" and costs or "task-associated energy expenditure."
However, workload discounting, the process of discounting the value of rewards based on the proportion of effort required, was exclusively related to D2R manipulation .
This research brings hope for a future when by manipulating the built-in reward system and improving motivation levels, the lives of many can be improved.