No More Lazy Little Monkeys
When I was reading this article I was thinking that this may be true for cattle breeders. We work harder when the rewards are close at hand, for example, those that might milk daily. Whereas, when it comes to filling Dexter milk pails in the future we may sometimes be guilty of procrastination. Maybe science has found a cure.
BBC - Scientists in the United States have found a way of turning lazy monkeys into workaholics using gene therapy. Usually monkeys work hard only when they know a reward is coming, but the animals given this treatment did their best all the time... Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health near Washington DC, led by Dr Barry Richmond, have now developed a genetic treatment which changes their work ethic markedly.
"Normal monkeys and people procrastinate - tend not to work very well when they have a lot of time to get the job done, and work better when the reward is nearer in time," Dr Richmond says. "The monkeys under the influence of the treatment don't procrastinate."
The treatment consists of blocking an important brain chemical - dopamine. After about 10 weeks it had worn off, and the monkeys were back to their usual unmotivated selves.