Scientists Watched a Brain Get Hooked on Sugaradmin
A group of researchers that presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society earlier this month are making significant progress in the field of neuroscience. While measuring electrical brain activity is relatively simple, according to IFLScience.com, observing neurotransmitter activity is considerably more difficult.
This group of researchers injected detectors called cell-based neurotranmitter flourescent engineered reports (called CNiFERs for short) into the brains of mice. These receptors light up when the presence of certain neurotransmitters are detected, which allow scientists to determine “exactly which chemicals are being transmitted in the brain at a given point in time.”
Similar to Ivan Pavlov’s experiment with dogs, this team trained mice to associate the sound of a bell ringing with a sugary treat. At first, the mice didn’t respond to the sound of the ringing bell and dopamine was picked up by the CNiFERs only when the treat was given. However, eventually, the mice’s brains began to associate the two events and their brains began to release dopamine upon hearing the bell. The response became increasinly immediate as the association became stronger.
The CNiFERs’ ability to distinguish between different neurotransmitters could help scientists in their future studies of the formation of habits and addictions, and could potentially enable them to design new treatments that target particular compounds in the brain.