News today out of Vanderbilt University is that your lack of motivation may not, contrary to what your father or your high school principal may have told you, have anything to do with your dead ass. In fact, it appears that the difference between the slacker and the go-getter may be wired into your brain.
By using PET scans, the researchers at Vanderbilt discovered that three key areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation were flooded with the “reward neurotransmitter” dopamine. On the other hand, slackers appeared to have the same flood in completely different areas of the brain. This is a significant find, as the assumption to this point was that a given neurotransmitter would affect the brain in a single given way, which does not appear to be at all like these findings.
And if you’re wondering whether your bladder will wait for you while you’re in the midst of yet another snooze during the day, well. There’s good news for you on that front: researchers Hitoshi Okamura and Osamu Ogawa at Kyoto University in Japan studied the urination patterns in mice and discovered that, beyond simply the ability to “hold it,” there is a circadian rhythm to going wee-wee.
The researchers studied a specific protein called connexin43, which is responsible for making bladder muscles more sensitive to neural signals. The more sensitive those muscles are, the more likely you are to have to pee. And by studying the release of this protein in mice over time, they discovered that mice are more likely to have to drain the lizard at night. Since mice are nocturnal, we can conclude that you’re probably going to be able to hold off on squeezing the weasel (or for you ladies, her-inating) through your most restful times. So sleep easy!