Skip to main content


Study reveals, there is a neural pathway between the cerebellum and the pleasure zone in the brain

The cerebellum is a small structure in the back of the brain that is often thought to be involved in motor functions, including posture, balance and coordination. A new study reveals that there is a neural pathway between the cerebellum and the pleasure zone in the brain, which plays a role in social behavior.

neural pathway

The cerebellum is primarily responsible for motor functions. However, recent research suggests it is involved in other functions as well. It turned out, for example, that it is involved in the mechanism of pleasure. A study from 2011 has shown that repeated activation of the cerebellum causes the secretion of dopamine neurotransmitter in the prefrontal cortex. Another region of the midbrain, the Ventral Tegmentum, is directly related to the prefrontal cortex and is responsible for Dopamine release when we experience pleasure. Following these results, researchers in a new study hypothesized that there is a pathway that leads from the cerebellum to the Ventral Tegmentum, which in turn leads to the secretion of dopamine.

To test their hypothesis, the researchers injected light-sensitive channels into the nerve cell membrane in mouse cirrhosis, so that lighting them in a certain color light would trigger nerve cells. In order to transmit light to the relevant area of ​​the brain, the mice implanted optic fibers in their brains. This technique is called optogenetics.

Then the researchers videotaped that the extensions of the nerve cells - the axons - come from the cerebellum to the ventral tigamentum. Indeed, short flashes of light on the axons activated nerve cells in the ventral pigmentum. They later found that these nerve cells actually secrete dopamine and thus complete the neural route image they were looking for.

A staged pleasure

The next step was to examine whether the activation of the sphincter ligaments in the ventral tigamentum gave the mice a sense of pleasure. For this purpose, the mice were allowed to wander in a square arena divided into four quarters. Each time they stayed at a certain quarter of the four, they received a series of flickers that activated the cirrhosis extensions in the ventral pigmentum. The mice showed a clear preference for this quarter and spent an average of 70 percent of the time. Control mice in the same quarter, but their cells had no light-sensitive channels, showed no preference for them, and stayed about a quarter of the time, as expected.

The results showed, then, that mice chose to stay where the sphincter sphincter ligaments were lit up, and thus running the route made them feel pleasurable. Similar results were found in mice where the pleasure zone was directly activated.

Now the question was whether it was possible to make mice go against their natural preference by activating the cerebellum. Indeed, the behavioral test in which the mice could choose between a dark cell and an illuminated cell - and their natural preference for darkness - succeeded in getting the mice to spend more time in the lighted cell after operating the caterpillar's extensions whenever they were in it.

The engineered mice (on the right) stayed longer in the upper right quadrant, whereas the control mice did not have a preference, The engineered mice (on the right) stayed longer in the upper right quadrant, the control mice had no preference Source: Albert Einstein College.

social behaviour

Research findings also link ventral tigmentum to social behavior. To see if his activation by the cerebellum is involved in social behavior, use the "three cells" task - a social task in which the mouse is free to move between three connected cells. The main compartment is empty and the other two have an empty cage or a cage with another mouse in it. As social beings, mice prefer to spend more time in the cell with the mouse than in the other cells.

Here, the researchers took the opposite approach from the previous experiments: after the fact that without mouse therapy they preferred to spend time with the imprisoned mouse, they silenced the pathway between the cerebellum and the ventral tigmentum by projecting light whenever the mouse entered the cell with the other mouse. This is how they eliminated the preference for this cell.

The researchers were not satisfied with the discovery that the activity of this neural pathway was necessary for social behavior, but wanted to test it in normal social behavior as well. To do this, they used a method called calcium imaging, in which cells are infected with a virus that contains molecules that bind to the calcium ions involved in neuronal activity. The molecules become fluorescent when the nerve cells are active, and the radiation they emit can be measured by optical fiber.

The researchers injected the virus into nerve cells in cirrhosis and examined whether the nerve cell extensions that reach the ventral tigmentum emitted light, meaning they were active. It was found that each time the mice studied the cell with an unknown mouse, the neuronal activity in that path increased, and the longer they stayed in this cell, the higher the activity levels.

The results of the study show that the neural connection between the cerebellum and the ventral tigamentum is strong enough to encourage behaviors that are characterized by pleasure and social behaviors. However, he does not rule out the possibility that other areas are involved, or that this relationship is also related to other behaviors. But even if it is only one of the mechanisms of pleasure, it contributes to an understanding of the disorders in which these behaviors are impaired - for example, schizophrenia. This expectation becomes even more acute in light of the decrease in activity and changes in the volume of white matter from which the nerve fibers are built in patients with schizophrenia.


  1. Carta, Ilaria, et al. "Cerebellar modulation of the reward circuitry and social behavior." Science 363.6424 (2019): eaav0581.
  2. Rogers, Tiffany D., et al. "Connecting the dots of the cerebro‐cerebellar role in cognitive function: Neuronal pathways for cerebellar modulation of dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex." Synapse 65.11 (2011): 1204-1212.


Popular posts from this blog

Amazon Forest On Fire 2019 (NASA Satellite Data)

With the 2019 fire season in the Amazon approaching its midpoint, scientists using NASA satellites to track fire activity have confirmed an increase in the number and intensity of fires in the Brazilian Amazon in 2019, making it the most active fire year in that region since 2010.Amazon forest on fire 2019
Fire activity in the Amazon varies considerably from year-to-year and month-to-month, driven by changes in economic conditions and climate. 
August 2019 stands out because it has brought a noticeable increase in large, intense, and persistent fires burning along major roads in the central Brazilian Amazon, explained Douglas Morton, chief of the Biospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. 
While drought has played a large role in exacerbating fires in the past, the timing and location of fire detections early in the 2019 dry season are more consistent with land clearing than with regional drought.

“Satellites are often the first to detect fires burning in remo…

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 (London's Natural History Museum's)

For more than fifty years this has actually drawn in the world's absolute best professional photographers, biologists and young professional photographers. 
There has actually never ever been a more vital time for audiences all over the world to experience our impactful and motivating exhibit," Tim Littlewood, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum.
50,000 entries from amateur and expert professional photographers throughout 100 nations were submitted to, of which the total winners will be revealed on October 15, 2019.

"Photography has a special capability to stimulate discussion, dispute and even action. 
After the awards event, the images will be shown at London's Natural History Museum from October 18 and will later on be showcased on a worldwide trip.
Credit: Eduardo Del Álamo/ Wildlife Professional Photographer of the Year 2019. A gentoo penguin flees for its life as a leopard seal break out of the water. 
Credit: Adrian Hirschi/Wildlife Photographer of the …

How Did They Tell Time Before Clocks?

Lets Examine How Did They Tell Time Before Clocks? Where Did Telling Time Originate?What makes time so important?Who invented the clockand why worldwide exist many various time zones?
The very first kind of telling time was the sundial and the earliest sundials are known from the archaeological record are obelisks from almost 5,000 years earlier. Sundials suggest the time by casting a shadow onto a surface. The things that cast the shadow is a stick in the center known as a gnomon. A sound sundial can determine time with exceptional precision, and sundials were used to monitor the efficiency of clocks until the modern period.

However, sundials have their limitations too. Undoubtedly they require the sun to shine, They do not work throughout the night when it's dark. 
Several devices have been utilized throughout the years to estimate the passage of time. candle lights and sticks of incense that burn down at fairly predictable speeds have been used, in addition to the hourglass.


18 photos documenting the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster

On April 26, 1986, a nuclear reactor in the territory of Ukraine, which was then part of the former Soviet Union, failed. As a result of that severe systemic failure, the reactor core was melted, and radioactive materials released from it were scattered everywhere, first to the environment close to the reactor, and then to almost every continent in Europe.  As a result , thousands of people have been killed - either directly or indirectly.  At the time, such a scenario might sound like science fiction, but today we all know that this happened in reality, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near the city ofPripyat in northwestern Ukraine , and the case is known as the Chernobyl disaster. 
In fact, this nuclear accident has been considered the most serious of its kind since they began using nuclear energy, and to date there is a ban on humans entering the area within a radius of 30 km from the reactor's whereabouts. 
Romain veillon, revealing the horrific ruins of the city of Pripyat, …

A new automated system that is capable of producing organs from stem cells

Organoids: mini organs in a petri dish for disease research and new curesA new automated system developed at the University of Washington is capable of efficiently producing mini organs from stem cells, and thereby has the potential to accelerate biomedical science and research.

Normally, when a researcher wants to test medications or treatments on cells from a particular tissue - for example, a liver - he should first grow the cells in the laboratory in a petri dish. The cells grow on the bottom of the dish and form a thin two-dimensional tissue that does not reflect what happens in the complex three-dimensional tissue that exists in the body. In recent years, researchers have been able to make stem cells develop into three-dimensional structures more like those in the body, called mini-organs. Researchers are able to test different treatments for the mini-organs, and to be more confident that they actually reflect what happens in the living body.

But there is one big problem: produci…

Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope Mission and Key Technologies (WFIRST space telescope)

Wide field infrared survey telescope is designed to answer big questions about the universe:  What is dark energy, which seems to be speeding up The expansion of the universe? How many planets exist among the Stars, and what are they like?  WFIRST is similar to Hubble, but benefits from 30 years of technological development. It will view the sky on a scale never before accomplished from space.
The Primary mirror This is where WFIRST is closest to Hubble. The same size and type of main mirror, a 2.4-meter precisely shaped piece of silver-coated glass.  The size of this mirror is partly how WFIRST matches Hubble’s resolution.
Wide Field Instrument 
The Wide field infrared survey telescope main camera is the Wide Field Instrument which will take infrared pictures of the sky to study dark energy, observe galaxies and stars, and find exoplanets. 
Instead of Hubble’s single first-generation image sensor, the WFI incorporates 18 third-generation chips that allow it to take pictures capturing 100 tim…

Moon’s gamma-ray glow from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Steadily improving view of the Moon’s gamma-ray glow from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Each 5-by-5-degree image is centered on the Moon and shows gamma rays with energies above 31 million electron volts, or tens of millions of times that of visible light. 
At these energies, the Moon is actually brighter than the Sun. Brighter colors indicate greater numbers of gamma rays. This image sequence shows how longer exposure, ranging from two to 128 months (10.7 years), improved the view.
If our eyes could see high-energy radiation called gamma rays, the Moon would appear brighter than the Sun! That’s how NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has seen our neighbor in space for the past decade.

Gamma-ray observations are not sensitive enough to clearly see the shape of the Moon’s disk or any surface features. Instead, Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT) detects a prominent glow centered on the Moon’s position in the sky.

Scientists have been analyzing the Moon’s gamma-ray glow as a way…

Floating City - Life on an Aircraft Carrier

Life on an Aircraft Carrier During the United States War in Iraq (April 2003), we landed for a few days on American aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, who sailed in Mediterranean waters somewhere off the Syrian coast.

We wanted to be impressed by how more than 5,000 men and women in this flooding town functioned for months on end in loneliness, disconnected from the home environment, family, and friends. 

Airplanes took off all the way to Iraq, thousands of people were busy with their missions, and we roamed the narrow, elongated "streets" of the huge ship, descended and climbed between its floors.

The aircraft carrier is capable of satisfying its needs for an extended period of time, from the almost unlimited cruise capacity provided by its two nuclear reactors to high-quality food, entertainment and leisure services, as only a developed Western army offers. 

The ship has, for example, dozens of dining rooms and buffets, a department store, postal services, telephone and internet…

Two T-38s traveling faster than the speed of sound (shock waves visible)

To get the image, NASA utilized a Super King Air turboprop airplane flying at an indicated airspeed of about 160 miles per hour at 30,000 feet. 

The two supersonic jets, separated by about 30 feet front to back and 10 feet vertically, were listed below the King Air by about 2,000 feet when it shot the images. 
The shock waves were photographable because of the modification in air density. "The density modification triggers a modification in the index of refraction," Banks states. A spoon will look distorted when you see it immersed in a glass of water. 
It turns out that images of shockwaves triggered by flying faster than the speed of sound are amazing to see, even without the sound. 

NASA photographed 2 T-38 airplanes flying at merely faster than the speed of sound over California. The King Air has ports on its stomach that can be opened or closed, and the photography equipment was placed in among those ports so it might shoot downwards. 
The turboprop doing the shooting was st…

Stanford Prison Experiment Response bias, Are the conclusions valid?

Stanford Prison ExperimentAlmost 50 years after the Stanford Prison Experiment (zimbardo), which is considered one of the milestones in behavioral psychology, it turns out that much of it was fake. Conclusions about stanford prison experiment.
"How we went about testing these questions and what we found in the stanford experiment (philip zimbardo) may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, Inour prison experiment guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress".
This is how Philip Zimbardo summed up the experiment. In 1971, it was one of the most recognized psychological experiments in the world. Its findings were extensively covered in the media and influenced the perception of many in terms of the role of prisons, the source of criminal behavior and th…