Amphetamines Dull Your Desire to Win

Users don't care about cash reward for finishing task

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WEDNESDAY, July 21, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- You really don't care if you win or you lose when you're on amphetamines, researchers at Stanford University have found.

Doctors discovered that people on dextroamphetamines were less likely to get excited at the prospect of a cash reward for successfully completing a task.

The subjects also were less likely to be upset at the possibility of losing, leading researchers to theorize that such drugs might help "maintain motivation even in the face of adversity."

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the subjects' brains during the task revealed a selective damping of peak activity in a region of the cortex known as the ventral striatum. Prior study has shown that region is activated by anticipation of reward.

The subjects also were asked to rate their feelings of happiness, excitement, unhappiness, and fearfulness after each task.

The study appears in the July 22 issue of Neuron.

More information

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about stimulant abuse.

SOURCES: Neuron, news release, July 21, 2004

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