The Loh Down On Science

Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes. Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh

Brain Switch

by The Loh Down On Science

One more reason your boss must give you a raise!  It’s not rocket science, it’s … neuroscience.
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying actually we all do, according to neuroscience.
Meet researchers from Pierre and Marie Curie University. They had 40 folks literally Work Hard For Their Money in the lab. The job? Squeeze a handgrip as hard as you can. Get paid 10 cents for each second you maintain a certain grip force. Squeeze harder, make more moolah. Nice!
Meanwhile, the researchers watched the subjects’ brain activity.
What did they find? A brain region that monitors whether we’re working hard or hardly working. This neural Big Brother lit up during physical effort, and dimmed during rest. When it reached some upper limit? The workers quit! Once it faded, they started back up.
But here’s the kicker. With a higher payoff--50 cents instead of 10--this mental “Mini Me” let people squeeze harder.
In short, Donna Summer was right.  She really does work hard for the money! And so does her brain region.

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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