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Monkeys switch to apple sauce

作者:荆揭    发布时间:2019-03-08 07:08:02    

HOW does a monkey know when it’s time to switch tactics, for example while searching for food? When a part of the brain’s cortex called the cingulate motor area (CMA) tells it so, say researchers in Japan. Keisetsu Shima and Jun Tanji of Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai trained three Japanese snow monkeys to push or turn a handle to receive a reward of apple sauce. When the researchers reduced the reward, forcing the monkeys to switch from pushing to turning the handle to receive the full reward, four different types of cells in the CMA changed their firing rates. When the cells were chemically (and reversibly) inactivated, the monkeys carried on pushing or turning regardless, despite diminishing rewards (Science, vol 282, p 1335). Tanji speculates that the human CMA, whose function has long been a mystery,

 

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