NeuroTransmitters Dopamine and Serotonin Explain Habit Formation and Breaking

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posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 10:42 PM
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Neurologically speaking, dopamine and serotonin are two of the primary NeuroTransmitters. Really Neuro-Psychology is a complex game, involving many potential variables and interactive mechanisms. Nonetheless, I am writing this to provide some basic NeuroLogical structure to this common knowledge of the brain, and the nervous system.

Now, let us explore the repetition of habit vs. novelty, and our pursuit and avoidance of each. These basic principles would hold true in both spatial and temporal dimensions. Dopamine, Dopa, sets off our projected fulfillment mechanisms. Based on past conditioning, we create an 'object' or 'process' to associate with the essential want or need that we feel. When we see a girl who we find attractive, we begin getting excited. We have been conditioned to be attracted to this 'object', or 'process,' and the dopamine starts going off when it is perceived as being possible.

Now, Serotonin is designed to associate with actual experiences of pleasure. When you are actually being fulfilled in your desires, the serotonin starts flowing. Now, you may perceive something you desire, and start using up some Dopamine. But if you are not being fulfilled, not getting that Serotonin kick, you're gonna trend towards what they call 'novelty addiction.' Novelty is basically good, it is only 'bad' when we cannot be fulfilled in our desires. Thus the push is to deny our desires, rather than increase the potential for fulfilling those desires. This is where we go wrong as a society. And, looking at these basic principles of Neuro-Psychology, we can describe its process and reasoning intelligently and specifically.
edit on 6-2-2013 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


When you see that girl and start to get antsy, just have A beer or some carbs and it will settle down. Other things that can work are aged foods. The aging or fermenting process of foods and ales leads to a serotonin creation when consumed in most people. There are exceptions to this rule though. Too much and you get a melatonin buzz and want to go to sleep. When you are young it's easier to convert phenylalanine than when you get older.

I hope I explained that right.
edit on 6-2-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 11:44 PM
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Interesting OP - I'm keen to understand the release of these chemicals and how they affect addiction . For example, with cigarettes : if someone anticipates the pleasure will Dopa be produced and then by actually fulfilling it the Seratonin flows after ? Or do addicts assume the pleasure ?

I seem to remember a Doctor simplistically explaining the process of 'Zyban' (the quit smoking tablets) where he said 'it basically shuts down the pleasure side of the brain ' assuming this is true , Seratonin is no longer produced and the feeling of satisfaction therefore not achieved , thereby rendering the act itself of smoking pointless ? I should add the Doctor was keen to stress that not all pleasure would be shut down - somehow this drug was allegedly able to hone in only on the cigarette/pleasure aspect.

Hope I'm not off topic here OP , thanks for any further insight in advance .



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 11:57 PM
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Originally posted by slidingdoor
Interesting OP - I'm keen to understand the release of these chemicals and how they affect addiction . For example, with cigarettes : if someone anticipates the pleasure will Dopa be produced and then by actually fulfilling it the Seratonin flows after ? Or do addicts assume the pleasure ?

I seem to remember a Doctor simplistically explaining the process of 'Zyban' (the quit smoking tablets) where he said 'it basically shuts down the pleasure side of the brain ' assuming this is true , Seratonin is no longer produced and the feeling of satisfaction therefore not achieved , thereby rendering the act itself of smoking pointless ? I should add the Doctor was keen to stress that not all pleasure would be shut down - somehow this drug was allegedly able to hone in only on the cigarette/pleasure aspect.

Hope I'm not off topic here OP , thanks for any further insight in advance .


Drugs, chemicals, and addiction would all be totally relevant to what I am discussing in OP. With a tobacco/nicotine addiction, the cigarettes become your associated object of fulfillment. Thus you associate that pleasure of the serotonin with the object of smoking. So yes, theoretically if you could suspend serotonin release, the actual fulfillment would not occur. There still may be a mental desire to do it, due to the Dopamine Association, but strictly speaking it would not chemically satisfy you. Thus the key to taking control of all such matters is learning to intelligently work with the neuro-chemical design of the brain.
edit on 6-2-2013 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 12:10 AM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Other than Zyban - do you believe it is possible for an individual to intelligently work with the brain/chemical release? and if so , how ? meditation ? Perhaps substitution could play a part provided it is not a.n. other harmful substitute? .



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:12 AM
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reply to post by abecedarian
 


Apparently, Politics and Philosophy aren't related.

My apologies.

Even though one's philosophy is intrinsic to their political position... one could argue every post on ATS is "trolling" as this is a "conspiracy" oriented site, and even the most intellectual of discussions require some sort of "anti"...


edit on 2/7/2013 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:19 AM
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*duplicate post*

edit on 2/7/2013 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 06:56 AM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


My doctor once told me this, I can't cite sources.

She said that tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana all raised levels of dopamine and that is why they are so addictive.

SSRI meds, which I know a lot of people like to frown upon, attempt to correct imbalance in the brain's neurotransmitters by blocking the reuptake of serotonin or dopamine. Hence the name Reuptake Inhibitors.

I take an SSRI for depression. It helps.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
reply to post by TheJourney
 


My doctor once told me this, I can't cite sources.

She said that tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana all raised levels of dopamine and that is why they are so addictive.

SSRI meds, which I know a lot of people like to frown upon, attempt to correct imbalance in the brain's neurotransmitters by blocking the reuptake of serotonin or dopamine. Hence the name Reuptake Inhibitors.

I take an SSRI for depression. It helps.


Well, anything that becomes an imprinted object of some desire will begin routinely setting off dopamine. So yes, certainly substances, but any object/action really. You going to turn on the TV to watch some show you like? Dopamine starts going off, before it's even on.

SSRI meds generally work with keeping the serotonin within a certain range. I personally do not generally support this, though it may sometimes be necessary. One should be free with one's own mind, brain chemistry. One should also be aware of the way the brain works, so one can be wise with one's actions.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by slidingdoor
reply to post by TheJourney
 


Other than Zyban - do you believe it is possible for an individual to intelligently work with the brain/chemical release? and if so , how ? meditation ? Perhaps substitution could play a part provided it is not a.n. other harmful substitute? .



Yes, certainly any substances/chemicals you take in will have an effect on brain-chemistry, for a variety of reasons. Everything really has an effect on it, particularly associated with desire and perceived reward. Meditation is helpful, because it focuses your mind and gives it more strength to work with things. Knowledge, clear mind, and practical use of neuro-chemistry.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by TheJourney
 


Yes, agreed.

Every thought, feeling, action has a chemical signature in the brain. This is why meditation helps calm one, etc. Countless examples.

Most people don't understand that everything we do causes a chemical reaction in our body. Thoughts, feelings, food we eat, movements, they all have an impact.

I suffer from PTSD as well as major depression and anxiety, stemming from a severe trauma earlier in life. For me, I have found that medication combined with meditation, exercise, proper nutrition, adequate daily sunlight, etc offers the best treatment. But that's me, everyone is different.

The brain absolutely fascinates me. My area of expertise is more along brain development in children....I'm thinking this might be an area to explore when I finally get around to dissertation time.

S&F for a great topic and discussion.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:48 PM
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Originally posted by rickymouse
reply to post by TheJourney
 


When you see that girl and start to get antsy, just have A beer or some carbs and it will settle down. Other things that can work are aged foods. The aging or fermenting process of foods and ales leads to a serotonin creation when consumed in most people. There are exceptions to this rule though. Too much and you get a melatonin buzz and want to go to sleep. When you are young it's easier to convert phenylalanine than when you get older.

I hope I explained that right.
edit on 6-2-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)




1- Some people experience and interpret that "antsy" feeling as being pleasurable. No sedation necessary. Just like some people feel the tension in their bodies before giving a public performance as being "pumped up" instead of "stage fright." Just like some people like to jump out of airplanes, or off bridges, while others would soil themselves. Experience is a matter of intepretation.

2- Serotonin can not cross the Blood-Brain Barrier. As such, no matter the serotonin content of the food you take in, this will not impact your brain. If 5-HT (serotonin) could cross the BBB, we could just prescribe serotonin pills for depression. Instead, we attempt to elevate brain serotonin by preventing the reuptake of serotonin, with SSRI drugs like paxil and prozac.

On the other hand, eating foods rich in l-tryptophan can theoretically increase serotonin in the brain, as this acts as a precursor. 5-HTP supplements are available as well. However, I've read that as opposed to l-tryptophan, 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-tryptophan) converts partly in the liver, instead of the brain (as with l-tryptophan) therefore leaving more of the good 5-HT circulating through the bloodstream (which can actually be bad for your heart) instead of in the brain where it will help us.

Certain vitamins also aid in the conversion of l-tryptophan into serotonin. Especially vitamin C and B6.

Phenylalanine is more important to dopamine than serotonin, and is a whole other ball of wax.....



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
reply to post by TheJourney
 


My doctor once told me this, I can't cite sources.

She said that tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana all raised levels of dopamine and that is why they are so addictive.

SSRI meds, which I know a lot of people like to frown upon, attempt to correct imbalance in the brain's neurotransmitters by blocking the reuptake of serotonin or dopamine. Hence the name Reuptake Inhibitors.

I take an SSRI for depression. It helps.




it is true that those things increase dopamine to one degree or another. But so does playing video games, or eating tasty food or sex, or pretty much anything pleasurable. And that's why all of these things can be addictive. Or at least, it' s a big part of the puzzle. Some chemicals release a lot more dopamine than others. The action of something like ethanol or cannabis is much more complicated than their minor influence on dopamine. On the other hand, drugs like adderall or ritalin have a very large impact on dopamine, releasing or inhibiting reuptake, respectively.

Certain other drugs I can't discuss (think hippies and ravers) heavily influence the serotonergic system. Too much serotonin and you not only feel really awesome, but you also "hallucinate." Of course, too much serotonin beyond that can result in "serotonin syndrome" which is not fun, and a somewhat rare condition. You pretty much have to take the wrong combination of things to suffer that. Of course, too much dopamine can potentially lead to or increase chances of psychosis, as well.
edit on 7-2-2013 by iwilliam because: (no reason given)
edit on 7-2-2013 by iwilliam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:05 PM
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it is true that those things increase dopamine to one degree or another. But so does playing video games, or eating tasty food or sex, or pretty much anything pleasurable. And that's why all of these things can be addictive. Or at least, it' s a big part of the puzzle. Some chemicals release a lot more dopamine than others. The action of something like ethanol or cannabis is much more complicated than their minor influence on dopamine. On the other hand, drugs like adderall or ritalin have a very large impact on dopamine, releasing or inhibiting reuptake, respectively.

Certain other drugs I can't discuss (think hippies and ravers) heavily influence the serotonergic system. Too much serotonin and you not only feel really awesome, but you also "hallucinate." Of course, too much serotonin beyond that can result in "serotonin syndrome" which is not fun, and a somewhat rare condition. You pretty much have to take the wrong combination of things to suffer that. Of course, too much dopamine can potentially lead to or increase chances of psychosis, as well.


This quote helped me understand some things, using more standard terminology
edit on 7-2-2013 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by iwilliam
 


I have been studying the tyramines and natural solutions to the problems people are having. Using natural maoi inhibitors like turmeric or adjusting copper levels can also be done. The mustard we use on a sandwich is actually a very good medicine if you know when to use it as are the aged foods. Too much turmeric and you could get some psychic side effects or it could cause a person to get a headache if too much aged food is ingested....like beer. I've been studying the basis for the medicines for about five or six years. There are a few medicines I can't get a suitable natural replacement for. Simple changes in diet can many times get rid of problems that people are having. BP too high, eat some foods containing curcumin. A little celery goes a long way. Could just eat onions also, they will take BP down.





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