In first-of-their-kind observations in the human brain, an international team of researchers has revealed two well-known neurochemicals — dopamine and serotonin — are at work at sub-second speeds to shape how people perceive the world and take action based on their perception.
The discovery shows researchers can continually and simultaneously measure the activity of both dopamine and serotonin — whose receptor and uptake sites are therapeutic targets for disorders ranging from depression to Parkinson’s disease — in the human brain.
Furthermore, the neurochemicals appear to integrate people’s perceptions of the world with their actions, indicating dopamine and serotonin have far more expansive roles in the human nervous system than previously known.
Known as neuromodulators, dopamine and serotonin have traditionally been linked to reward processing — how good or how bad people perceive an outcome to be after taking an action.
The study online today in the journal Neuron opens the