Johns Hopkins neuroscientists trace what made Pavlov’s dog salivate

In Ivan Pavlov’s famous experiments conditioning dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, timing mattered. The quicker the food followed the bell, the stronger the dog’s response the next time it rang. But he and the scientists who have followed him still couldn’t be certain how that learning occurs. How does the brain know the bell and food, or any stimulus and reward, are related if they are separated even by a matter of seconds? A team of Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists has found evidence that the connection comes from a mysterious “tag” that is carried from one brain cell to another. When the brain chemicals associated with a reward then sweep over the neurons, the tag is activated, and the cells learn. The tag acts like cementā€¦


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