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Old 05-21-2011, 08:45 PM
Arkham Knight Arkham Knight is offline
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Default Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

The brain needs downs to have ups.

Happy neurochemicals can’t work if they’re on all the time.

Published on May 21, 2011 by Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D. in Greaseless

Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. Each evolved to do a different job. When you know what the job is, you know why your happy chemicals can't be on all the time.

More - http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...medium=twitter
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2011, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

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Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. Each evolved to do a different job. When you know what the job is, you know why your happy chemicals can't be on all the time.

1. Endorphins evolved to mask pain. If you're escaping a predator, neurochemical euphoria promotes survival by mask pain until you're in a safe place. But the rest of the time, masking pain does not promote survival. You would run on a broken leg and touch hot stoves if your endorphins flowed all the time. You would not be better off because pain holds survival information. You did not evolve to be on an endorphin high all the time.
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2. Dopamine sparks you when you're near an important reward. If you were climbing a tree for a juicy piece of fruit, dopamine triggers the boost that gets you up the last few branches. If your dopamine flowed all the time, you would invest energy in everything, rewarding or not. Your reserve tank of energy is available for things that matter because your dopamine only turns on for things that are important. You did not evolve to be on a dopamine high at every moment.

3. Oxytocin stimulates the feeling we humans experience as trust. If it flowed all the time, you'd trust people you shouldn't oughta trust. Orgasm and giving birth trigger oxytocin, as does a massage. All mammals release oxytocin when they're born, triggering attachment to their mother. More is stimulated when a mother mammal licks or holds her child. Mammals transfer their attachment from a mother to a herd or pack or troop, and these social alliances also trigger oxytocin. The bigger a mammal's brain, the pickier they are about which social alliances to trust. You would not be better off if your oxtyocin surged all the time.

4. Serotonin flows in an amoeba when it can safely to feed. Humans have more serotonin in the stomach than the brain because our ancestors fed when it was safe. Mammals often have their food stolen by more dominant mammals. It's safe to eat when you can dominate, and that's when serotonin rises. Feeling on top boosts serotonin, as challenging as the idea is to modern sensibilities. If your serotonin were high all the time, you'd constantly one-up others and make yourself a big pain in the neck.

Happy chemicals evolved to alert us to survival-relevant information around us. If you surged with happy chemicals all the time they'd have no power to alert you to important information.

Yet it's natural to desire more happy chemicals and to do everything possible to stimulate them. They evolved to motivate us to go toward things that promote survival Natural selection created a brain that motivates you to promote your survival with happy chemicals. A brain that was happy all the time would not need to take survival action to feel good. Survival prospects would fall. Natural selection would weed out a brain that was happy all the time!
from the article
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

Don't really have anything to add but really interesting article, thanks.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

Fucking dumb, linear, two dimensional explanations of incredibly complex & beautiful processes. There are no two or four or eight neurochemicals that "cause" happiness. It's a massive orchestra, filled with a diverse multitude of chemicals that do many different things all at once in different places and for different reasons. Sites like those are so fucking typical of the trend for psychology to fall into complete failure & pseudo-science, and honestly why should one feel stupider after reading what should be an informative, logical article? I'm not sure if it's deliberate misinformation or it's a product of pure peradventure or persistent passive propagation of patriarchal pondering.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

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Originally Posted by iMagiNation View Post
Fucking dumb, linear, two dimensional explanations of incredibly complex & beautiful processes. There are no two or four or eight neurochemicals that "cause" happiness. It's a massive orchestra, filled with a diverse multitude of chemicals that do many different things all at once in different places and for different reasons. Sites like those are so fucking typical of the trend for psychology to fall into complete failure & pseudo-science, and honestly why should one feel stupider after reading what should be an informative, logical article? I'm not sure if it's deliberate misinformation or it's a product of pure peradventure or persistent passive propagation of patriarchal pondering.
This. Could NOT have said it better myself.

Quote:
1. Endorphins evolved to mask pain. If you're escaping a predator, neurochemical euphoria promotes survival by mask pain until you're in a safe place. But the rest of the time, masking pain does not promote survival. You would run on a broken leg and touch hot stoves if your endorphins flowed all the time. You would not be better off because pain holds survival information. You did not evolve to be on an endorphin high all the time.
It's obvious this article is aimed at stupid people, much like yourself. Not scientific AT ALL.

Endorphin's are know to cause both pain and pleasure depending on many factors. The article does not specify which endorphins do what. Some endorphin's have completely opposite effects to that of others. It depends what receptor they bind.

For example, Enkephalins, endomorphins, or beta-endorphin which bind to mu-opioid receptors, can (conditionally) improve mood, relieve pain, cause euphoria, etc. by disinhibiting dopamine pathways.

While dynorphins which bind to kappa opioid receptors, or nociceptin, can actually do the opposite and cause dysphoria, depression, and pain.

Whether the former ones will improve your mood also depends on dopamine availability and such. If you recall when you do a shitload of opiates, nod the fuck out, and when you come down you feel.... ehhhhh just dull, detached, lethargic, listless, numb, emotionless, apathetic, etc. That usually happens when the dopamine rush goes away, but the drug is still agonizing your opioid receptors and causing analgesia and sedation.


The same applies to all the other neurotransmitters that are mentioned. I have no idea what he was talking about with serotonin though. I think he was referring to a 5-HT receptor that indirectly releases dopamine.

I guess the article left out all the technical jargon for the sake of simplicity, so as to not confuse the audience it's aimed towards.

Last edited by JC Denton; 05-24-2011 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

It gives a rough overview of what neurotransmitters are most affects during activities- you're just upset because it doesn't go any deeper than this. For the average person this is a decent read and better than not seeing anything on the brain at all. I highly doubt this is meant for your higher educated psychologist. GET THE STICK OUT OF YOUR ASSES.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

Anybody want to link to a good, more in depth article? Sure I could google search but maybe somebody here has found a particularly useful article?
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:44 AM
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Thumbs Up Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

Quote:
Originally Posted by FON View Post
Anybody want to link to a good, more in depth article? Sure I could google search but maybe somebody here has found a particularly useful article?
You're better off doing your own research. Took me years of obsession to get a decent grasp of the nervous system and it's countless interactions and interconnections with the endocrine and other systems.

I'd be happy to answer any questions though. I focused my research on mostly useful information.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

I've done a bit of research. Enough to begin to grasp the very basics. It gets quite confusing at times though and ends up with me opening a multitude of tabs to constantly research the new information..

But yeah, point taken. Thanks anyway
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Four neurochemicals cause happiness: endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin

Think outside the box, those are not the outlines for your complete set of options regarding your perception of emotional existence. It is cyclic though, and balanced.
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