What is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them. Dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson's Disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. The presence of a certain kind of dopamine receptor is also associated with sensation-seeking people, more commonly known as "risk takers."

Recent Posts on Dopamine

Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on August 18, 2015 in Mental Wealth
By disrupting sleep, suppressing the brain's frontal lobe, raising stress hormones, and fracturing attention, daily screen-time is making children become the worst version of themselves.

America's Infatuation with Jim Harbaugh

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 16, 2015 in Obesely Speaking
While other college coaches are busy strategizing to win football games, Jim Harbaugh is conquering a nation without trying.

Why Are the Candy Crushes of the World Dominating Our Lives?

What happens when an organic form of existence, after evolving for millions of years, meets the last word in planned and designed addictiveness? Darwin goes searching for the gas pedal in this evolutionary phenomenon of his.

How Giving Something for Nothing Can Benefit your Health

Altruism can benefit your health - try it and see

Overcoming Garden Variety Moodiness

If you tend to moodiness and would like an approach that is "psychology" or "psychiatry light," give this a try.

The FDA, the DSM, Gender Equality, and “Female Viagra”

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Side Effects
Will the FDA succumb to lobbyists accusing it of gender bias?

What if Addiction is the Only Game in Town?

By Marc Lewis Ph.D. on May 09, 2015 in Addicted Brains
Giving up booze or drugs, getting sober, might sound like a good idea. Unless there's nothing else available to provide you with meaning and warmth. Without those alternatives, getting straight is like looking into a dust-storm. There's nothing to see except greyness and formlessness -- and that can be terrifying.

Is Surfing the Internet Addictive?

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Mind Change
New research shows that aimless, excessive Internet use is associated with changes in the brain consistent with addictions. What could be addictive about endlessly surfing the web?

The Science Behind Falling in Love

By Maryanne Fisher Ph.D. on February 12, 2013 in Love's Evolver
Although you might feel that your experience of falling in love is unique, science can explain why you have lost your appetite, or why you think the sky is bluer.

The Amazing Power of "Small Wins"

By Meg Selig on July 18, 2012 in Changepower
Reaching small goals gives your brain dopamine spritzes!

Combine Fun and Pleasure with Habit Change

By Meg Selig on August 15, 2011 in Changepower
Fun and pleasure can motivate a healthy habit change.

The Relationship Between Sex and Food

By Maryanne Fisher Ph.D. on February 09, 2011 in Love's Evolver
If you're thinking of a romantic gift for a lover, why buy just the usual box of chocolates? Instead you could make an "aphrodisiac basket!"

Why You Can’t Always Feel When Love Hurts

By Craig Malkin PhD on January 06, 2011 in Romance Redux
Blinded by the glow of romantic love (or the love of one's children), we tend to miss the faults, the disappointments, the slights—minor and sometimes even major—in the people we love the most. Now it appears there may be a powerful neurological component to love-blindness.