Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain's impulse control center located

Date:
October 14, 2010
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
Impulsive behavior can be improved with training and the improvement is marked by specific brain changes, according to a new study.

PhD student Scott Hayton is the lead researcher of a new study that has pinpointed the part of the brain responsible for impulses.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queen's University

Impulsive behaviour can be improved with training and the improvement is marked by specific brain changes, according to a new Queen's University study.

Related Articles


A research team led by neuroscience PhD student Scott Hayton has pinpointed the area of the brain that controls impulsive behavior and the mechanisms that affect how impulsive behavior is learned. The findings could have a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of several disorders and addictions, including ADHD and alcoholism.

"In the classroom, kids often blurt out answers before they raise their hand. With time, they learn to hold their tongue and put up their hand until the teacher calls them. We wanted to know how this type of learning occurs in the brain," says Mr. Hayton, a PhD student at the Centre for Neuroscience Studies at Queen's. "Our research basically told us where the memory for this type of inhibition is in the brain, and how it is encoded."

The team trained rats to control impulsive responses until a signal was presented. Electrical signals between cells in the brain's frontal lobe grew stronger as they learned to control their impulses. This showed that impulsivity is represented, in a specific brain region, by a change in communication between neurons.

Impulsivity is often thought of as a personality trait, something that makes one person different from another.

Children who have difficulty learning to control a response often have behavioral problems which continue into adulthood, says Professor Cella Olmstead, the principal investigator on the study. She notes that impulsivity is a primary feature of many disorders including addiction, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder and gambling. Identifying the brain region and mechanism that controls impulsivity is a critical step in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

"In conditions where learning does not occur properly, it is possible that it is this mechanism that has been impaired," adds co-investigator neuroscience Professor Eric Dumont.

The findings were recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. J. Hayton, M. Lovett-Barron, E. C. Dumont, M. C. Olmstead. Target-Specific Encoding of Response Inhibition: Increased Contribution of AMPA to NMDA Receptors at Excitatory Synapses in the Prefrontal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 2010; 30 (34): 11493 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1550-10.2010

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Brain's impulse control center located." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921151009.htm>.
Queen's University. (2010, October 14). Brain's impulse control center located. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921151009.htm
Queen's University. "Brain's impulse control center located." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921151009.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins