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Motivation and Brain Function

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Exercising takes a lot of motivation, especially when you dont have the desire to do so. You have to make up your mind that to exercise is to live. What are the structures and functions that are associated with the brain in order to motivate the desire to exercise, and are there extrinsic or intrinsic factors that influence this behavior like heredity or the environment?

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(1) What are the structures and functions that are associated with the brain in order to motivate the desire to exercise?

Structures in the brain that are associated with physical activity include the mesolimbic, amygdala and hippocampus regions. For example, Van Rensburg, Taylor, & Hodgson (2009) present a study that shows exercise modulates cigarette smoking based on specific brain activations. For example, exercise is stated to be an effective non-pharmacological method of reducing cigarette cravings. As Van Rensburg et al explain this phenomenon, during nicotine absence, the presence of cigarette images was found to increase activation in the following regions of the brain: (a) mesolimbic, (nucleus, amygdale and hippocampus, (b) the mesocortical (prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal and arterial cingulate, and (c) the mesocorticolimic dopamine cortex. The mesocorticolimbic dopamine system is believed to modulate activity in a number of higher brain region circuits. According to Van Rensburg et al. (2009), four neurological circuits are implicated in addiction:

(1) a reward circuit (including ventral striatum),
(2) a motivational/drive circuit including the orbitofrontal cortex,
(3) learning memory circuit (including the amygdala and hippocampus, and
(4) a control circuit including the prefrontal cortex and the arterial cingulate cortex.

Further, according to Van Rensburg et al. (2009), human research is presented to show ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the desire to exercise, and how it is associated with motivaiton and the brain.