Sunday, August 15, 2004

Coffee of the future?


"Normal monkeys and people procrastinate - tend not to work very well when they have a lot of time to get the job done, and work better when the reward is nearer in time," Dr Richmond says. "The monkeys under the influence of the treatment don't procrastinate."
Forget caffeine, they do it by blocking dopamine. Which is also the title of a very interesting recent DVD release. The future Starbucks selections: regular, decaf, de-dopa? Makes you wonder if this wouldn't also be a suitable method of treating bad habits (smoking) that provide short term enjoyment, but disastrous results over the long term.

link via drudge

Update: more at Wired News, and much more over at FuturePundit:
He fashioned an agent (DNA antisense expression construct) that, when injected directly into the rhinal cortex of four trained monkeys, spawned a kind of decoy molecule which tricked cells there into turning-off D2 expression for several weeks. This depleted the area of D2 receptors, impairing the monkeys' reward learning. For a few months, the monkeys were unable to associate the visual cues with the workload – to learn how many trials needed to be completed to get the reward.


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