By David Linden (auth.)
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Extra info for Brain Control: Developments in Therapy and Implications for Society
Some of the affected patients have an impaired ability to recognise fear in others and are also generally fearless themselves. The limbic system is also tightly coupled with the brain’s reward and motivation system. The neurotransmitter most strongly implicated in reward-based learning is dopamine. Dopamine is produced by a group of nerve cells, called dopaminergic neurons, that make up only a very small proportion of the brain’s cells. However, they are crucial for several key functions, including learning and motor control, and loss of these neurons can lead to Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
2 The dopaminergic synapse Note: The upper part of the figure shows a synaptic terminal of a dopaminergic neuron with a storage vesicle. Several mechanisms by which drugs enhance dopamine activity are shown: Amphetamine (AMPH) reverses the dopamine (DA) transport into the presynaptic cell by acting as a substrate for the dopamine transporter (DAT) and blocks its storage by blocking the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT). Cocaine is also an inhibitor of dopamine reuptake into the cell. As a consequence, more dopamine remains in the cleft between the two neurons and can act onto the second, “postsynaptic” neuron.
Up until now it has not been possible to achieve the detailed readouts of brain activity needed to control robots or prosthetic devices in everyday situations using those EEG, fMRI or other techniques that do not require surgical placement of electrodes (so-called non-invasive techniques). 30 Most of this work has been conducted in monkeys. It has been known for a while that specific groups, or populations, of nerve cells in the motor areas of the brain control movement 30 Brain Control in specific directions.
Brain Control: Developments in Therapy and Implications for Society by David Linden (auth.)