Published March 2021 on YouTube

How to Increase Motivation & Drive | Huberman Lab Podcast #12

1. Introduction

Athletic Greens Sponsorship:Andrew discusses the benefits of Athletic Greens, an all-in-one vitamin, mineral, and probiotic drink, and how it covers all the bases for vitamins and minerals. He also shares a special offer for listeners to try Athletic Greens and receive a year's supply of vitamin D3 and K2, as well as five free travel packs.+
Motivation Science:Andrew discusses the benefits of meditation and how Headspace makes it easy to incorporate it into your daily routine. He also talks about his eating habits and how Magic Spoon cereal fits into his keto diet.+

2. Announcement: Spanish Subtitles

Andrew announces that the Huberman Lab podcast will now have accurate Spanish captions on YouTube, thanks to revenue from the podcast being used to hire expert captioners. This move allows Spanish speakers to access the information presented on the podcast in their preferred language, and the podcast hopes to expand to other languages in the near future.+

3. Emotions, Addiction & Mindset

Andrew discusses the neuroscience behind motivation and reward, and how it's fundamental to our daily lives. He touches on the addictive properties of certain substances and the neurochemistry of drive and mindset.+

4. The Chemistry of Motivation

Andrew explains how our sense of motivation and movement is controlled by the same molecule, dopamine. He also highlights the role of acetylcholine in focus and how dopamine lies at the center of addiction and certain forms of mental disease.+

5. A Double-Edged Dopamine Blade

Andrew discusses the double-edged blade of dopamine and how it affects our desire to exert effort. He shares actionable tools related to supplementation and dopamine scheduling, emphasizing the importance of understanding the dopamine system to leverage it to our benefit.+

6. The Dual Role of Dopamine

Andrew explains that dopamine is not only the precursor to epinephrine but also has its own functions. Dopamine is released from various sites in the brain and body, and it plays a significant role in reward and pleasure.+

7. Understanding Reward Pathway

Andrew explains the reward pathway in the brain and how it controls our motivation for anything. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens form the core machinery of the reward pathway, while the prefrontal cortex acts as a break on the dopamine system. Without this break, we would be purely pleasure-seeking animals.+

8. Motivation= Pleasure Plus Pain

Andrew explains that motivation is a balance between pleasure and pain, and that dopamine is responsible for wanting and craving, not just pleasure. Dopamine is released in anticipation and has the effect of narrowing our focus for the thing that we crave.+

9. Understanding Dopamine

Andrew explains how dopamine works in the brain and how it affects our motivation levels. He discusses the different levels of dopamine release in response to food, sex, nicotine, cocaine, and amphetamine.+

10. The Power of Thought

Andrew explains how just thinking about food, sex, nicotine, cocaine, or amphetamine can increase the amount of dopamine released to the same degree as actually consuming the drug. He discusses how brain circuitry like this evolved to motivate behaviors towards particular goals and how hormones like estrogen and testosterone bias dopamine to be released. He also explains how most things don't release the same level of dopamine as cocaine or amphetamine, which create closed loops where people only crave that particular thing.+

11. Social Media and Video Games

Andrew explains how video games that have a high update speed can release dopamine levels similar to nicotine and cocaine. Social media can also release high levels of dopamine, but there is a taper effect. Despite this, people still get addicted to social media.+

12. Understanding Addiction

Andrew explains how addiction is not just about feeling good, but rather the pleasure-pain balance that underlies motivation. By understanding this balance, we can control our motivation towards healthy behaviors and avoid destructive ones.+

13. Addiction and Motivation

Andrew explains how addiction and motivation work in the brain, and how dopamine plays a role in both. He also discusses the genetic bias towards addiction in some individuals and how repeated pursuit of a behavior can increase dopamine release.+

14. The Dopamine System

Andrew explains the dopamine system and how it is responsible for both pleasure and pain. The diabolical part of dopamine is that with each subsequent encounter, pleasure is diminished while pain is increased, making the pursuit of pleasure a way to reduce the pain of craving.+

15. The Pain-Pleasure Connection

Andrew explains how dopamine is not just about pleasure, but also about the motivation to pursue more in order to reduce future pain. He discusses how cravings and addictions are linked to psychological and physical pain, and how yearning for something includes a whole body experience.+

16. The Croissant Craving Circuit

Andrew explains how the taste of a delicious croissant can trigger the release of neuromodulators like serotonin, oxytocin, and prolactin, leading to feelings of satisfaction and satiety. He also discusses the importance of experiencing the taste and texture of food to prevent overeating.+

17. The Push-Pull Balance

Andrew discusses the push-pull balance between craving and "here and now" molecules that allow for motivation and enjoyment. He explains how serotonin, the molecule of bliss and contentment, plays a role in this balance and is released by neurons in the Raffae area of the brain.+

18. In Your Skin Or Out In the World

Andrew explains how dopamine and serotonin are related to exteroception and interoception, respectively. He also discusses how the body and brain can direct attention towards things outside or inside us, or split our attention between the two.+

19. Natural Bliss

Andrew explains how our body naturally produces endocannabinoids that bind to receptors and make us feel content in the present. He also talks about the effects of serotonin and how both systems work together in our body.+

20. The Almond Meditation

Andrew discusses how mindfulness can increase pleasure for what you already have, using the example of mindful eating where you focus on the taste and texture of one almond. This practice aims to shift the release of dopamine to serotonin in the cannabinoid system, creating a deeper appreciation for the present moment.+

21. Neuromodulator Balance

Andrew explains how dopamine and serotonin affect our pursuit of things and contentment with what we have. A balance between these two neuromodulator systems is important for a healthy emotional landscape.+

22. The Dopamine Pursuit

Andrew discusses how dopamine affects people's pursuit of goals and how it can lead to different types of behavior, whether it's active or passive. He also highlights how dopamine doesn't care about how you reach your goals, but only that you reach them.+

23. Overcoming Procrastination

Andrew discusses the two types of procrastinators and how they can increase their motivation through different methods such as breathing exercises and supplements like Ltyrosine. He also cautions listeners to consult with a doctor before trying any of these methods.+

24. Healthy Dopamine Schedules

Andrew discusses the importance of healthy dopamine schedules and how dopamine crashes can be navigated to leverage healthier schedules and increase motivation. He explains how dopamine wants more of the thing that releases it and how increasing dopamine through supplementation and prescription drugs can lead to needing more and more of the associated activities. Andrew also touches on the pleasure-pain relationship and the mechanisms that put a complete break on dopamine.+

25. Neural Mechanisms of Reproduction

Andrew explains the biological mechanisms behind sex and reproduction in males and females. Dopamine is released during anticipation and consummation, while prolactin causes lethargy and sets the refractory period.+

26. Novelty and Dopamine

Andrew explains how the introduction of novelty increases dopamine levels and shortens the refractory period. He shares the story of the Coolidge effect and how it relates to the dopamine and prolactin system in humans.+

27. Vitamin B6, Zinc As Mild Prolactin Inhibitors

Andrew explains how vitamin B six and zinc can inhibit prolactin and increase dopamine, leading to functional effects like boosting testosterone. He also warns about clinical conditions like hyperprolact anemia and the importance of consulting an endocrinologist before taking prescription drugs.+

28. Schizophrenia Treatment

Andrew explains that one of the treatments for schizophrenia is blocking dopamine receptors, which can lead to movement disorders and gynecomastia. He also notes that some of the strange behaviors associated with schizophrenia may actually be side effects of the drugs used to treat it.+

29. Prolactin and Dopamine

Andrew explains how prolactin is released after intense experiences and how it can lead to postpartum depression. He also shares his personal experience of taking vitamin B6 to offset the low feeling after a major event. Additionally, he talks about the subjective effects of dopamine and how to extend the positive phase of its release cognitively.+

30. Balancing Pleasure

Andrew discusses how high performers are prone to addiction due to their dopamine seeking behavior. He suggests that adopting practices like achieving a good night's sleep can help balance pleasure seeking and offsetting pain, leading to a more balanced and happy life.+

31. Emotional Development

Andrew discusses the basics of good infant parent attachment and how it leads to healthy adult relationships and emotion regulation. He talks about the relationship between child and parent, engaging with children in a way that increases their sense of pleasure for what's right there, as well as giving them a lot of things to be excited about and positive anticipation.+

32. The Power of Maybe

Andrew explains how the word "maybe" can affect our dopamine system and motivation. Saying "maybe" to a reward can actually lead to a bigger crash in dopamine if it doesn't happen, causing negative emotions. The concept of "maybe" is deeply woven into our biology as a way to explore novel territories and resources.+

33. Surprise!

Andrew explains how dopamine is linked to surprise, motivation and reward. He shares how adjusting the dopamine schedule can lead to positive anticipation and less disappointment in life.+

34. Blunting Dopamine

Andrew explains how viewing bright light in the middle of the night can blunt dopamine release and negatively impact mental and physical health. He emphasizes the importance of taking care of the reward system and shares tips for those who work in the middle of the night.+

35. Understanding Dopamine

Andrew explains the results of an experiment that separated pleasure from motivation and how dopamine is not about experiencing pleasure, but rather about motivation for pleasure. He discusses the importance of dopamine in our daily lives and how it affects our motivation levels.+

36. Supplementing Dopamine

Andrew discusses a lesser-known supplement called beta phenyl ethylamine (Pea Pea) that releases both dopamine and serotonin at low levels. He highlights the importance of consulting with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements and mentions a resource to explore the human effect matrix of different supplements.+

37. ADHD and Impulsivity

Andrew discusses the difference between clinical ADHD and the kind induced through distraction and social media. He talks about the drugs used to treat ADHD and their effects on impulsivity, and how impulsivity at age ten can predict overeating disorders later in life.+

38. Leveraging Dopamine Schedules

Andrew discusses the power of subjective interpretation when it comes to dopamine and motivation. By leveraging the dopamine system, we can improve our ability to pursue and enjoy things in life. He also shares an experiment that highlights the subjective readout of experiences.+

39. Caffeine vs Adderall

Andrew discusses a recent study that shows how the expectation of a stimulant can impact cognitive performance. The study found that college students who believed they were taking Adderall, but were actually taking caffeine, reported feeling higher and performed better on a working memory test. This highlights the impact of higher-level cognitive processes on even the most basic aspects of dopamine release and adrenaline release.+

40. Caffeine's Effect on Dopamine Neurons

Andrew explains that caffeine can increase dopamine release in the brain by 30% and also has a protective effect on dopamine neurons. This is different from drugs like MDMA Ecstasy, which may destroy dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons. Amphetamine, especially methamphetamine, is very destructive for dopaminergic neurons.+

41. Nicotine's Neuroprotective Effects

Andrew discusses the potential neuroprotective effects of nicotine, citing studies that show its ability to stimulate dopamine release and potentially protect against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. However, the protective effects are still unclear and taking too much nicotine over long periods of time can have negative effects.+

42. The Power of Intermittent Reinforcement

Andrew explains how intermittent reinforcement is the most powerful form of dopamine reward schedule and how it is used in gambling addiction. He also talks about how it can be used for good.+

43. Reward Response

Blunting the Reward Response:Andrew explains how blunting the reward response by not celebrating every milestone can help individuals maintain healthy dopamine levels and continue pursuing their goals. He suggests that reducing the impact of rewards can prevent big crashes in dopamine and ensure long-term success in various endeavors.+
Rewarding Progress:Andrew discusses the importance of rewarding progress and growth mindset. He suggests that self-reward is important but should be done on an intermittent and unpredictable schedule to prevent burnout and maintain motivation.+

44. Celebrating Wins

Andrew shares a story from his graduate school about his advisor's approach to celebrating wins. He explains how his advisor's use of intermittent reinforcement for achievements has helped him in his career and how he is cautious about deploying dopamine release in response to wins.+

45. Corrections and Updates

Andrew addresses some corrections from previous episodes, including a study on the potential negative effects of long-term Ashwagandha use in rats, and clarifies the difference between 5HT and 5HTP. He also updates listeners on the availability of Spanish subtitles for the podcast.+

46. Understanding Dopamine

Understanding Dopamine:Andrew Huberman discusses the dopamine system, the balance between pleasure and pain, and the role of molecules like serotonin and endocannabinoids. He also explores the effects of supplements like vitamin B6, zinc, and L-DOPA, as well as caffeine and nicotine. Finally, he shares tips for scheduling dopamine to ensure long-term engagement with healthy pursuits.+
Support and Supplements:Andrew discusses ways to support the podcast, including subscribing, leaving reviews, and checking out sponsors. He also talks about his partnership with Thorn supplements and offers a discount code for listeners.+