“…the same dopamine neurons that signal primitive rewards like food and water also signal the cognitive reward of advance information…Dopamine neurons might treat information as desirable because it can help us learn how to predict and control our environment.”

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Dopamine – Not Just About “Reward”

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Here is a good alternative perspective to the now widely accepted view of dopamine as the reward necurotransmitter.  It is more complex, of course.

Dopamine, Behavioral Economics and Effort

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience http://www.frontiersin.org September 2009 | Volume 3 | Article 13 | 1 BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE REVIEW ARTICLE published: 07 September 2009 doi: 10.3389

Against the backdrop of these conceptual and terminological issues, there is a tremendous weight of empirical evidence that has built up against the various iterations of the DA hypothesis of “reward”.  It is somewhat ironic that the processes most directly linked to the use of the term reward (i.e., primary motivation, subjective pleasure) are the ones that have proven to be most problematic in terms of demonstrating the involvement of mesolimbic DA (Salamone et al., 2007).

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“…most men in Europe descend from the first farmers who migrated from the Near East 10,000 years ago”

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..but…”New genetic evidence reveals that most British men are not descended from immigrant farmers who migrated east 5,000-10,000 years ago — contrary to previous research.”

“The current studies provide converging multi-method evidence suggesting that the left temporoparietal area is part of a neural network involved in evaluating creativity, and that as such may act as inhibitors of creativity.”

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Human creativity is thought to entail two processes.
– One is idea generation, whereby ideas emerge in an associative manner
– the other is idea evaluation, whereby generated ideas are evaluated and screened.

We found that an individual with left temporoparietal hemorrhage who had no previous experience as an artist developed remarkable artistic creativity, which diminished as the hemorrhage receded…we conducted a subsequent fMRI study showing that decreased left temporal and parietal activations among healthy individuals as they evaluated creative ideas selectively predicted higher creativity.

The current studies provide converging multi-method evidence suggesting that the left temporoparietal area is part of a neural network involved in evaluating creativity, and that as such may act as inhibitors of creativity.

“Children and teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder or those who have attention deficit and hyperactivity problems are much more likely to wish to be another gender. “

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“In ADHD, difficulties inhibiting impulses are central to the disorder and could result in difficulty keeping gender impulses ‘under wraps’ in spite of internal and external pressures against cross-gender expression,” says Strang, who suggests that the coincidence of gender variance with ADHD and ASD could be related to the underlying symptoms of these neurodevelopmental disorders.

Strang continued, “Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders may be less aware of the social restrictions against expressions of gender variance and therefore less likely to avoid expressing these inclinations. It could also be theorized that excessively rigid or ‘black and white’ thinking could result in such a child’s rigidly interpreting mild or moderate gender nonconforming inclinations as more intense or absolute.”