Using florescent cells from jellyfish as a marker, scientists have ‘discovered’ that the cerebellum – a remarkably difficult part of the brain to study, even though it is only 1/6th of the volume but contains 1/2 of the neurones – is part of the reward system. We know the cerebellum is deeply involved with movement, so why should it be a surprise that successful completion of movement lights up the reward system of the cerebellum, as it does the basal ganglia? Movement is its own reward – just do it.
Using the same technique, we have just discovered that the lungs (well, at least in a rat) are the site of 50% of platelet production, not the bone marrow as previously believed. We have a lot to learn yet, and it’s coming in fast.