[Neuroscience] Re: The roles of dopamine?

J.A.Legris via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by jalegris from sympatico.ca)
Tue Oct 21 07:55:16 EST 2008


On Oct 21, 1:16 am, kiwasabi <kiwas... from gmail.com> wrote:
> I've been very interested in the roles of dopamine for some time now
> ever since I read that it may be more related to motivation than to
> pleasure (as previously believed). It also seems to increase attention
> to a given task as the dopamine level increases. On top of all of
> this, it seems to be essential to goal-directed behavior.
>
> What are everybody's thoughts as to the functions of dopamine?
>
> By the way, if dopamine isn't specifically related to pleasure (but to
> the pursuit of pleasure), why is it so pleasant to be in a motivated,
> goal-directed state? I did a quick search in this group and one person
> a long time ago noted that he thought it was due to increased blood
> flow in the brain brought upon by in increases in dopamine.

I wouldn't expect increased blood flow to be intrinsically pleasurable
- for one thing it depends on whether you are the prey or the
predator.

To be in a goal-directed state, there must have been prior exposure to
the conditions associated with that state, otherwise there would be no
expectation of a reward. In effect, the conditions have themselves
become conditioned rewards, the pleasurability of which depends on
more than just dopamine.

--
Joe


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