When I First Discovered What Dopamine Was ..

When I first discovered this amazing feeling the human body experiences when it gets a reward physically, emotionally or intellectually, I realized that my brain must be experiencing a lot of this. Initially, my brother told me about dopamine, a brain chemical that we release when we are motivated and driven towards something. My lack of knowledge on this matter bothered me so I decided to look it up and research it myself. I’m glad I did because this is truly amazing.

In fancy scientific terms, dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which is basically one of those chemicals in the brain that is responsible for transmitting signals in between the neurons of the brain. More importantly, dopamine helps activate the learning centers in the brain. So when you see something and are highly inspired or motivated by it, the dopamine neurons in your brain activate. It’s amazing how there’s a specific brain chemical that describes a common feeling humans experience and I think I experience this too.

Whenever a person speaks about how wonderful and innovative medicine is, I’m pretty sure my brain releases a bunch of dopamine because in this situation, I become really engaged and have a desire of learning more. I personally want to become a surgeon, not just because of how cool cutting open a body and repairing it is, but also because the life of a patient depends on your artisan skills and you challenge yourself to ensure the patient survives.

We obviously can’t literally see the dopamine our brain releases, but we can definitely feel it.  As Eric Marr says in his TED talk, “let’s get those dopamine neurons firing!”

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Also, if you’re interested, please check out Shobhit Keswani’s blog, “The end of the beginning,” on his medical related experience (link is included below.)

–Akriti Keswani

 

Shobhit Keswani’s blog :

http://theendofthebegin.blogspot.com/2014/01/post-and-inspiration-recently-i-had-two.html

Sources :

Uon, Nancy. “Dopamine is the Chemistry of Pleasure.” ViewZone. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

Newton, Phil. “What is Dopamine?” Psychology Today. 26 Apr. 2009. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

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