Dopamine is a neuromodulator, a chemical released in our brain and body that controls the likelihood of certain brain areas being active. It was discovered in the late 1950s as the precursor to adrenaline, or epinephrine. While it's often associated with reward and pleasure, dopamine also plays a crucial role in motivation, craving, and movement. It's released from several sites in the brain and body, including a rich source in the substantia nigra VTA, a region at the bottom of the brain. Dopamine can be triggered by various factors such as excitement, pleasure, fear, or desire. It's also involved in our responses to sweet tastes and can be influenced by environmental factors like white noise.