Josh-Daniel S. Davis (joshdavis) wrote,
Josh-Daniel S. Davis
joshdavis

Dopamine isn't a reward for "actions"...

Dopamine is a reward for CORRECTLY PREDICTING actions, rather than for the actions themselves.

When the input matches the pattern closely, then the pattern is amplified through increased fire rates (euphoria).

Once the pattern is exactly the same as the input, then the fire rate slowly decreases.

When the input does NOT match the pattern, then the fire rates drop to near zero (withdrawal).

Fed back through a similar system is the "What If" game.
This leads to anticipation vs regret (compared to euphoria vs withdrawal).
Addicts basically are desensitized against the regret factor in the what if game.

A prime example is smokers. They can feel the regret of knowing smoking is bad for them, but they cannot translate that into a corrective action because of the knowledge of a stronger regret (aka withdrawal) should they stop smoking.

http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2008/08/a_new_state_of_mind.php
Tags: biology, brain, neurology, science
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