How does dopamine affect the brain?

Andrew Huberman AI:

Dopamine has a profound impact on the brain in several ways:

  1. Modulation of Pain and Inflammation: Dopamine interacts with the brain stem and neurons that innervate the spleen and other areas of the body that deploy cells to combat infection, inflammation, and pain. This interaction can modulate our experience of pain, potentially transforming it into something pleasurable. This is achieved through the activation of brain stem neurons that communicate with areas of our body that deploy immune cells.

  2. Influence on Resilience: Dopamine can make us more resilient. It affects particular circuits and tells cells and circuits that conditions are good, even when there's pain in the body. This can allow us to lean into challenges, such as infection or physical pain.

  3. Triggering Vomiting: Dopamine can also trigger vomiting when its levels go too high. This is seen in the context of various drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, which increase dopamine levels or activate dopamine receptors to a great degree.

  4. Local and Volumetric Release: Dopamine can be released in the brain and body in a very local or more broad manner. It can influence one neuron to another neuron (local release) or engage in a volumetric release, affecting hundreds or even thousands of cells.

  5. Influence on Motivation and Pleasure: Dopamine can make you feel very motivated, but it can also make that motivation short-lived. The satisfaction or excitement