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When the going gets tough: the tough get going: The neural correlates of persistence in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

2020 BHRC Emerging Researcher Lecture by Dr Blake Porter (Department of Psychology)

Every day we make cost-benefit decisions. "Do I go to the gym or sit home watching Netflix?" But the cost-benefit process continues even after we have made a decision. "I've worked out for half an hour, should I keep going or go home?" The Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) likely plays an important role in cost-benefit decision making. Specifically, the ACC represents the physical effort costs of behaviors and helps to assess whether or not a choice is worth pursuing. However, little is known about the ACC's role in persisting at difficult tasks or quitting them. In order to investigate the ACC's role in persistence "when the going gets tough", we developed a novel weight lifting task for rats that forces them to constantly evaluate whether or not the task is worth pursuing as it gets more and more difficult. Utilizing in-vivo electrophysiology we recorded ACC neural activity while rats carried out the task. I will cover the development of our novel weight lifting task and the role of the ACC in motivating us "to get going."

Date Wednesday, 8 July 2020
Time 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Audience Public,Staff,Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Public Lecture
LocationMicrobiology Seminar Room 208, Second Floor, 720 Cumberland Street, Dunedin

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