Dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates the flow of information between nerve cells. Dopamine, also known as a chemical messenger, is responsible for delivering impulses between nerve cells in the brain. It has a major impact on our central nervous system and performs an important role in the body.

It’s part of our reward center, and when our brain produces dopamine in response to what we do, we feel good and want to do more of whatever it is that’s making us feel so mentally healthy. That, in turn, leads to even more dopamine production. 

Dopamine is also present in fight-or-flight responses. When experiencing a perceived threat, real or imagined, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, triggering the release of dopamine and other catecholamines, which help in responding to stress.

Sources

  1. Berridge KC. The debate over dopamine’s role in reward: the case for incentive salience. Psychopharmacology. 2006;191(3):391-431. doi:10.1007/s00213-006-0578-x https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-006-0578-x

  2. Wenzel JM, Rauscher NA, Cheer JF, Oleson EB. A Role for Phasic Dopamine Release within the Nucleus Accumbens in Encoding Aversion: A Review of the Neurochemical Literature. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2014;6(1):16-26. doi:10.1021/cn500255p https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5820768/