Wendy Allen once said “the brain is my 2nd favorite organ”. What is your “favorite” neurotransmitter and why?
There are over 100 neurotransmitters in the brain and each performs specific function in the body. Neurotransmitter works as a chemical messenger which transmits information from one neuron to another in term to help communication inside the brain. My favorite neurotransmitter Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter which mainly functions in central nervous system. It locates in several areas in the brain and used to activating 5 types dopamine receptors. (D1-D5) It stabilizes the brain activities and mainly controls movement. The reason I like dopamine because it has various functions which related to our everyday life and responsible for many favorite feelings. Such as movement, sleep, memory etc. The functions I particularly like are motivation, decision making, impulsive, addiction and reward. They all seem to have a cumulative effect to each other.
Everyday we have to make decisions, no matter big or small. (E.g. what to eat), so it is vital in our life. Dopamine plays a key role in our decision making which has been approved by a study from UCL team. They tested on how people make complex decision when dopamine level was interfered. They concluded that increasing in dopamine will influence decision making by increasing the expectation of pleasure of the events and this effect will last at least 24 hours. So I love dopamine because I can use it as a short cut to signal the expected pleasure and guide to make decision.
However, we cannot make decision based on this emotional knowledge since it is based on synapse response which may make errors. Furthermore, the quality of decision making can vary widely depends on how people do critical thinking before they act. Obviously highly impulsive people tend to make rash, poor decisions. A team of researchers ran a study and showed a link between dopamine and impulsivity. They used a PET scan to...