Motivation and the Brain

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Running Head: Motivation and the Brain

* Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper in which you examine the concept of motivation. * Address the following items with supporting examples: *
Define motivation.( this element of the paper will serve as the content in the introduction) Identify at least two sources of motivation.
Explain the relationship between motivation and behavior.
Examine how motivation is exhibited in behavior.

Motivation and the Brain
Kristen Smith
Psy/355
February 1st, 2010
Kay Rubin

CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY: I certify that the attached paper, which was produced for the class identified above, is my original work and has not previously been submitted by me or by anyone else for any class.  I further declare that I have cited all sources from which I used language, ideas and information, whether quoted verbatim or paraphrased, and that any and all assistance of any kind, which I received while producing this paper, has been acknowledged in the References section.  This paper includes no trademarked material, logos, or images from the Internet, which I do not have written permission to include.  I further agree that my name typed on the line below is intended to have, and shall have the same validity as my handwritten signature.  

Student's signature (name typed here is equivalent to a signature): ___Kristen Smith______________________

A healthy lifestyle, complete with eating well, takes motivation and constant strong dedication to achieve. When the motivation to see the action completed is at its most compelling state, it can only be placated once the behavior has been fulfilled. A lifestyle that involves healthy eating should be what everyone strives to achieve, but all too often there are roadblocks. The continuous development of understanding regarding eating disorders has expanded beyond what use to just be looked at as anorexia and bulimia or disorders that just associated with malnutrition. Just as eating too little can have a negative effect on a person’s health, so can overindulging, or eating too much of the wrong things. In America today the emphasis is the on-the-go lifestyle, which places a higher incentive to eat junk food as the main staple in one’s diet. The fast food is a quick fix to satisfy the compelling need of hunger. What causes a person to more than satisfy or willingly ignore the motivation to eat is under constant scrutiny; science is finding the links between hormone and gene dysfunction and the onset of eating disorders. There are both intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with eating healthily, these factors play heavily on how a person chooses to live their lifestyle.

Brain Structure and Healthy Eating
To start on the path of a healthy eating lifestyle one should begin in the brain. The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) and the lateral hypothalamus (LH) explain the neurological mechanisms of hunger and satiety (Pinel, 2007). The VHM and the LH seem to work together as a sort of stoplight for a person’s hunger and satiety. The hypothalamus is in charge of changing energy into fat stores, by doing this, the hypothalamus creates an incentive to increase ones calories. To put this into psychological terms, the hypothalamus uses the need for energy to create a psychological force or need for hunger and then food, then calculating the rate and amount of fat storage within the body. More than three years ago, geneticists conducted a study with the findings reported the startling discovery that nearly half of all people in the U.S. with European ancestry carry a variant of the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene which causes them to gain weight -- from three to seven pounds, on average -- but worse, puts them at risk for obesity (University of California, 2010). The FTO gene was studied in mice at a lab in Oxford. One set of mice was administered extra copies of the FTO gene, and fed the standard diet along with the other...
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