The reward network in our brains is one of the most fascinating areas of the brain. It is often the underlying network that propels our behaviour as well as override our good judgement. It is also one of the key networks in learning. That little buzz we get when we learn something new, closely followed by (hopefully) a yearning to find that buzz again by learning the next new thing.
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An important process of that network is the prediction of reward, seeing reward coming, just like the excitement before a big concert or event. This study looked at how music uses those networks in a similar way to food and money and how these same signals are involved in learning.
“Our results demonstrate that musical events can elicit formally-modeled reward prediction errors like those observed for concrete rewards such as food or money, and that these signals support learning. This implies that predictive processing might play a much wider role in reward and pleasure than previously realised.”
Check out the article here