Washington: Hunger, thirst, stress and drugs can create a change in the brain that transforms a repulsive feeling into a strong positive "wanting," a new University of Michigan study has found.Mike Robinson, a research fellow in the U-M Department of Psychology and the study`s lead author, said the findings help explain how related brain activations in people could cause them to avidly want something that has been always disliked.This instant transformation of motivation, he said, lies in the ability of events to activate particular brain circuitry-a structure called the nucleus accumbens, which sits near the base of the front of the brain and is also activated by addictive drugs. Cues for rewards often trigger intense motivation. The smell of food can make a person suddenly feel hungry when this wasn`t the case earlier. Drug cues may prompt relapse in addicts trying to quit. In some cases, desires may be triggered even for a relatively unpleasant event.The researchers studied how rats responded to metal objects that represented either pleasant sugar or disgustingly intense Dead Sea saltiness. The rats quickly learned to jump on and nibble the sweetness cue, but turned away from and avoided the saltiness cue.
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