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Online Short Courses

Localisation of regions of intense pleasure response evoked by soccer goals

Author(s): J. McLean, D. Brennan, D. Wyper, B. Condon, D. Hadley, J. Cavanagh

Abstract:
Localisation of regions of intense pleasure responses will lead to a better understanding of the reward mechanisms in the brain. Here we present a novel fMRI video paradigm designed to evoke high levels of pleasure in a specific test group and to distinguish regions of pleasure from anticipation. It exploits the intense commitment of soccer supporters and thus captures the intense euphoric feeling experienced when a soccer goal is scored. Nine healthy male subjects were imaged. Statistically significant activation clusters were determined for four contrasts: (i) goals vs. open play; (ii) missed chances vs. open play; (iii) goals vs. missed chances; and (iv) goals and missed chances vs. open play. Superior temporal, inferior frontal and amygdala were activated by all contrasts. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was activated in contrasts (i) and (iii), suggesting that the ACC is involved in processing pleasure. The putamen was activated in contrasts (i), (ii) and (iv) implicating involvement of this region in the anticipation of pleasure. This paradigm activates brain regions known to be involved in pleasure-processing networks. The structure of the paradigm allows the separation of anticipation from the pleasure stimulus and provides a paradigm devoid of decision-making. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Full version: Available here

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ISBN: 0925-4927
Publication Year: 2009
Periodical: Psychiatry Research-Neuroimaging
Periodical Number: 1
Volume: 171
Pages: 33-43
Author Address: McLean, J So Gen Hosp, Inst Neurol Sci, Sackler Inst Psychobiol Res, 1345 Govan Rd, Glasgow G51 4TF, Lanark, Scotland So Gen Hosp, Inst Neurol Sci, Sackler Inst Psychobiol Res, Glasgow G51 4TF, Lanark, Scotland Univ Glasgow, Fac Med, Sackler Inst Psychobiol Res, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Lanark, Scotland