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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The goal of the present chapter is to show the relevance of neuroscience research to human motivation researchers. The first part of the chapter discusses the current status of the possible integration of motivational psychology and neuroscience into the new emerging field of motivational neuroscience. The second part identifies 15 brain structures and 5 neural pathways that underlie most of the neural basis of human motivational states. The third part examines how recent findings in neuroscience have advanced the understanding of 14 widely studied motivational concepts, including those automatically activated by environmental stimuli (hunger, thirst), those learned from the rewarding properties of environmental stimuli (incentives, rewards, expectancy, value), and those proactively generated by the individual (agency, volition, self-regulation, goals, curiosity, intrinsic motivation, psychological needs, and autonomous self-regulation). The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research.

Keywords: motivation, neuroscience, striatum, reward, dopamine, prefrontal cortex

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