Someday you might be able to have a device implanted in your brain which can give it a little electric shock each time it is thinking about reaching for that junk food. This has just been treid in mice.
Reward hypersensitization is a common feature of neuropsychiatric disorders, manifesting as impulsivity for anticipated incentives. Temporally specific changes in activity within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which occur during anticipatory periods preceding consummatory behavior, represent a critical opportunity for intervention. However, no available therapy is capable of automatically sensing and therapeutically responding to this vulnerable moment in time when anticipation-related neural signals may be present. To identify translatable biomarkers for an off-the-shelf responsive neurostimulation system, we record local field potentials from the NAc of mice and a human anticipating conventional rewards. We find increased power in 1- to 4-Hz oscillations predominate during reward anticipation, which can effectively trigger neurostimulation that reduces consummatory behavior in mice sensitized to highly palatable food. Similar oscillations are present in human NAc during reward anticipation, highlighting the translational potential of our findings in the development of a treatment for a major unmet need.
Maybe pedophiles could be given this option in exchange for getting out of jail. Or maybe it won’t be an option. Maybe it could be implanted at birth and used, just as an example, if someone is thinking of pulling the wrong lever in a voting booth.