the part of the human brain that makes new music in particular so pleasurable, showing that activity in the nucleus accumbens—located near the organ’s center - shown in red—is most closely linked to our enjoyment of a new tune. It also reveals that a second area -in the auditory cortex- is involved, encoding preferences based on the music we hear over time, making it more likely that we’ll enjoy new songs that resemble those we’ve already heard.
Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) is the area that synthesizes dopamine, which then sends to nucleus accumbens. Nucelus accumbens is the pleasure center, and it is stimulated by the neurotransmitter dopamine from VTA. VTA also sends dopamine to prefrontal cortex which regulates and controls these impulses. The locus coeruleus is the area packed with norepinephrine; and when stimulated by a lack of the addictive substance, will drives the person to do anything necessary to obtain a fix.
Figure 2. Spine Heads of Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Core Enlarge 15 Minutes After a Cue-Induced Cocaine Relapse As shown by the blue arrows, the spine heads of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens core of cocaine-trained rats at 15 minutes after a cue-induced relapse (T = 15) are larger than those in the same rats before the induced relapse (T = 0).
Scientists discover depression gene
Researchers at the University of Maryland analyzed the brains of mice and people with depression who committed suicide. They found both had decreased levels of a certain gene in their reward center, known as the 'nucleus accumbens' (pictured)