In 10 seconds? Scientists have gotten one step closer to uncover the secrets of how neurons in our brain drive our behavior – while trying to find new uses for an old, attention-stimulating drug.

Wow, that’s a lot to take in, what’s the discovery? OK, so they were administering methylphenidate (brand name: Ritalin) to monkeys. Why? To better understand the connections between behavior and the workings of the brain to find a use for existing drugs to target brain areas associated with behaviors in psychiatric patients. (This latter is called drug-repurposing - a faster and less costly process than bringing a new medication developed from scratch to the market). What the team has found was that the animals that received the drug fared better on the visual task they were given and paid more time and attention to it. Well, that’s what it was supposed to do but the scientist have also found out how it did it.

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