Dopamine is known as the chemical of love, creativity, and addiction.
Dopamine was discovered in 1958 by Arvid Carlson and Niels-Ake Hillarp. Dopamine is produced in different parts of the brain and plays an important role in all types of brain functions, including thinking, sleep, mood, attention, and motivation. Initially, dopamine was thought to make us feel pleasure and pleasure, thus encouraging us to seek certain types of pleasure – such as food, sex, and drugs.
But later research has shown that dopamine makes us want, desire, and seek pleasure. He is responsible for the anticipation of pleasure or reward. That is, it makes us look for them, not feel them.
The dopamine pleasure system is very old, it was developed in today’s primates, and it was developed in our ancestors. Therefore, the easiest way to get “light” dopamine is simple things that worked in our ancestors.
The normal functioning of the dopamine system is determined genetically. The genes encode how many dopamine receptors we have (DRD2 gene) and how dopamine metabolism will occur (DBH gene, COMT gene). Depending on the combination of these genes, a completely different approach is needed to balance dopamine levels in the body.
The dopamine loop (trap) occurs in a situation where dopamine is produced not in the case of obtaining the result, but in the case of the process of finding the result. We can talk about the dopamine loop in a large number of household examples: overeating, endless activities on social networks, constant checking of mail, SMS, “missed” calls and others. In other words, the loop occurs when a person begins to do something out of boredom, not out of necessity.
When you open one of your favorite applications, the dopamine loop is activated. With every new photo or headline you see, every like or comment you receive, you are “feeding” a noose that makes you want more. And you will never reach saturation. The dopamine system is insatiable.
Studies have shown that the brain is more active when people expect a reward rather than receive it. Unpredictability is a key stimulant of dopamine.