[Neuroscience] Re: What role do chemicals play in motivation?

J.A.Legris via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by jalegris from sympatico.ca)
Tue Feb 13 15:10:12 EST 2007

On Feb 11, 7:09 am, "chadmaester" <chad.d.john... from gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 10, 9:35 pm, "Benjamin" <Benja... from verizon.net> wrote:
> > "chadmaester" <chad.d.john... from gmail.com> wrote in message
> >news:1171045343.158893.50560 from v33g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...
> > > Are chemicals the main factor in a person's or animal's motivation?
> > > Does their presence/absence influence the ability to form/recall
> > > memories?
> > > What about when memories are already in place - do the chemicals then
> > > just inhibit/exhibit recall of those memories?
> > Neurochemicals are to memory as
> > "nuts and bolts" are to "machine".
> > There's a lot in-between that has to be
> > understood if your Q is to actually be
> > answered.
> > ken
> What I am hoping to do is make a basic computer model of Aplysia
> sensitization/desensitization. I was wondering what the slug's
> motivation is for pulling away as it does when touched. Would it be a
> matter of self-preservation?

Assuming that a mature neuroscience will someday completely account
for animal behaviour as an interaction between the environment and an
animal's structure and properties, it is tempting to speculate that
"motivation" too can similarly be reduced. In other words, the animal
behaves as it does because Stimulus A causes Neural Activity B (fill
in the appropriate blanks) leading to Response Pattern C.

So where is the motivation? It is implicit in the neurological and
behavioural functional relationships, all of which arose over the
phylogenic history of the organism, which of course includes a lively
contribution due to natural selection acting on the slug's ancestors.
In other words, it is not very clear (yet).

Nevertheless, we already know a lot about Aplysia's neural
characteristics, definitely enough to get you started on your computer

Here's an inspirational link:


Joe Legris

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