Topics: Nervous system, Dopamine, Central nervous system Pages: 3 (950 words) Published: October 2, 2013

Dopamine is simply a messenger in the brain. It is released by people themselves, their activities, and certain drugs. The rationale of this research is to resolve how this neurotransmitter changes with age, and to see how dopamine affects the brain, as well as the body.

This neurotransmitter can greatly affect your mindset of some activities. A psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, Steve Zald, conducted a study this year. He used PET scans on people that were so-called “thrill seekers”. He discovered that they had less auto receptors (dopamine shutoff valves) than the average human. This means that when they do something new, the dopamine released has a greater effect giving them a more euphoric feeling. So when these people, such as Jack Tackle (mountain climber/guide), climb a mountain, they experience a euphoric sensation once they reach the top. Their body then wants to climb an even higher mountain in order to “get that rush again”. This is due to the fact that once the mountain has been climbed, the experience is predictable. Unfortunately, Zald describes that the pull of euphoria can sometimes overpower a novelty seeker’s ability to properly evaluate risk. “The reward is just too great, so they’ll do things that most other people wouldn’t do.” To recompense for this, novelty-seekers are meticulous planners. BASE jumpers and alpinists strive for minimal risks. This was written in an article by a researcher at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. So, the real danger for novelty-seekers is to manage the danger, as well as their dopamine (Melville, 2010). In conclusion, dopamine affects your body by forcing it to crave that euphoric sensation. This is because dopamine is a pleasure hormone, but certain feelings of pleasure or euphoria, aren’t easily attained. You will then do dangerous things to get these feelings. As a chemical messenger, dopamine is similar to adrenaline. Dopamine affects brain processes that...
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