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Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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    You can scientifically feel happy whenever you want to!

    Yes!

    As delusional as it sounds, scientists have recently discovered that the level of the “feel-good” hormone can be willingly controlled by us.

    Dopamine, the hormone responsible for pleasure in human beings, is a neurotransmitter responsible for the human ability to think and plan. Researchers of the University of California – San Diego have observed that mice can wilfully control the secretion of random dopamine pulses as a reward.


    Earlier it was believed that bouts of dopamine emerged during pleasurable activities like eating sweets, playing football, sipping wine, etc. However, a recent article published on July 23 in the journal Current Biology, has specified that instead of occurring only when presented with pleasurable, or reward-based expectations, the neocortex( part of the human brain’s cerebral cortex responsible for higher cognitive functioning) in mice is flooded with unpredictable pulses of dopamine that jump approximately once per minute.


    Further, the researchers tested the mice on a treadmill. Each animal received a reward if it showed its ability to control the spontaneous dopamine signals. Not only were mice aware of these dopamine impulses, but the results confirmed that they learned to predict and actively act upon them.


    This research can further help in understanding brain dynamics and their connection with foraging. Furthermore, if applied to human brains, we can soon look forward to better mechanisms of mental health and therapy.

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