The neuroscience of motivation - Deepstash

The neuroscience of motivation

Neuroscience offers clues on how motivation works within the brain.

  • Taking action. The motor loop in the brain enables one-action-at-a-time control. (We can't sit down and stand up at the same time.)
  • The dopamine network explains which action we will pick. It signals to the brain which action will bring a reward. It uses that anticipation to guide our thoughts and behaviour.
  • Addiction is a motivational disorder. Some drugs act directly upon the motivational circuitry of the brain, and cause the motivation to do something to far exceeds its value.
  • Fear and anxiety compel us to do the opposite of motivation. The amygdala is a "threat detection centre" and forces us to suppress and avoid actions when we are anxious.

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