Now that the election is over, I’m anticipating clinical withdrawal symptoms. For months, news in every form has been my drug of choice. RSS has been my syringe, and the trackmarks are many and deep. If you’ve been a junkie like me, you’re probably already starting to feel it – that yearning for polls, opinions, commentary and analysis beginning to transform, slowly but surely, into an emptiness. What will I do without 1000 mutating variations of the red-blue map? Without 42 polls being averaged every hour? Without ideologues left and right vehemently defending their positions in ceaseless staccato rhythm? What proxy will replace the relentless and merciless mistress that has possessed the newscape for so long?
Dopamine, prime player of addictions large and small, is indeed an unforgiving taskmaster, but we’d hardly function without its magisterial influence. Speaking of which, if you’re interested in the neurotransmitter of the gods…
Check out this Scientific American article about its central role in the brain’s reward network
This informative post at Dr. Shock about dopamine and learning
This Psychology Today article about dopamine’s connection to both addiction and attention
This great post at The Frontal Cortex about dopamine and obesity
This article in SEED about a new understanding of dopamine’s vital role in social phenomena
This worthy post at Neuroanthropology on dopamine and addiction (in two parts)
And this excellent post at Neurotropia all about–wait for it–dopamine!