Research - Research Article from Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

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Reward Center

Experiments have shown that rats with a tiny wire placed in the pleasure-sensing region of the brain will repeatedly press a bar that sends a slight current out of this probe's microscopic tip. Called an electrode, the wire is designed to deliver the small amount of electricity to a brain region that the researcher selects, based on available maps of the brain.

Self-stimulation experiments in rats have repeatedly demonstrated the presence of a reward center in the brain. Scientists observe the behavior of the rats fitted with electrodes. They count the number of times the rats press the bar, and compare the number of bar presses that results when the electrode is in the reward area, compared to the number that results when the electrode is just outside that area.

To train a rat to press a bar, scientists use food as the reward. Before the experiment...

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This section contains 2,064 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Research Encyclopedia Article
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Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco
Research from Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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