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Investigating the pleasure centers of the brain: How reward signals are transmitted

Research helps to better understand how reward signals, such as those produced by addictive drugs, travel through the brain and modify brain circuits. Researchers obtained results using optogenetics, which use light-responsive proteins to study the activation of neural circuits in distinct locations. The study has revealed circuits that are responsible for habitual behavior, which could be suitable targets for pharmacotherapies designed to treat drug addiction.
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