Reward Motivation and Working Memory

Rahul Modi : Psychology

Mentor: Professor Mark D’Esposito, Neuroscience

For his senior honors thesis in Psychology, Rahul will use functional MRI to study how the human frontal lobes integrate information in order to guide motivated behavior. It is well established that the frontal lobes play a critical role in short term (working) memory, a function that enables the online maintenance and mental manipulation of information. This study will build on current knowledge about the human frontal lobes to determine how rewards affect the interaction of the frontal lobes with supporting brain regions, and to draw clear conclusions about the regional specificity of reward processing in the frontal lobes. The results of this study will further our understanding of how rewards influence brain function and the neurological basis of motivation in human memory tasks.