Dopamine systems play a crucial role in various aspects of our lives, including our visual attention, motivation, and even our ability to combat pain and inflammation.
Visual Attention: Dopamine interacts with our visual system, influencing how we scan our environment. When we focus on a particular point or goal, our dopamine system is recruited, putting us in a state of readiness to pursue things in our extrapersonal space. This interaction is reciprocal - increasing dopamine can enhance our visual attention, and focusing our visual attention can increase dopamine.
Motivation and Energy: Dopamine is also involved in our motivation and energy levels. Overindulging in activities that tap into the dopamine system, like food or sex, can deplete these systems, lowering our baseline energy and motivation. However, completing actions and achieving goals can replenish this energy, increasing our motivation.
Pain and Inflammation: Dopamine can modulate our experience of pain and inflammation.