THE PROJECT: Why exactly does “absence make the heart grow fonder?” Merridee Lefner and Matthew Wanat (The University of Texas at San Antonio) are analyzing the neurobiology of motivated behavior. How does dopamine work in influencing our responses to rewards and avoiding negative outcomes? If we wait longer for something we desire, do we want it more and if so, why? ABOUT BRAINSTORM: Mind Science’s BrainStorm Neuroscience Pitch Competition funding helps early-career researchers team with senior primary investigators in powerful labs to work on pilot studies that will help them obtain grants for further research, while honing their skills in translating complex neuroscience for a general public. The top prize is $30,000, with each runner up team receiving $15,000. This year would have been the third annual BrainStorm competition at the Pearl Brewery’s Pearl Stable Auditorium, with the audience listening to pitches, then deciding how to distribute the $60,000 pot of prize money to the three research teams. Instead, our Board of Trustees viewed video pitches, and so generously gave their time and thoughtful feedback to vote on how to allocate funding. We are incredibly grateful for their endless dedication, superb vision, and important role in this funding decision. ABOUT MIND SCIENCE: Mind Science is a 501.c.3 private operating foundation, established in 1958 by oilman and philanthropist Tom Slick (1916 – 1962), with a mission to fund scientific research and education about the vast potential of the human mind, for the betterment of humankind. Mind Science focuses on funding early-career neuroscience researchers and providing life-enriching learning opportunities about the mind and brain. We believe science never stops (even, and especially, now). Visit www.mindscience.org to learn more.

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