Dopamine Hypotheses

I caught parts of an interesting show called the Science of Sex Appeal. I thought of some other areas where the same chemicals involved in love/attraction may be playing hidden roles in other relationships:

Celebrity Freakouts
I am curious to know whether dopamine is the cause of celebrity freakouts in young women. A relationship with a celebrity is one-sided. A person can build up a whole “history” or “relationship” with another person simply by hearing or reading about them. Those positive memories of a celebrity could activate elevated dopamine production via the Caudate Nucleus. Once the girl, who is already in “love” (maintains high dopamine levels by thinking of the celebrity constantly) meets the celebrity or thinks she is about to meet the celebrity in person, dopamine levels spike, causing an overreaction that appears drug-induced (because it is).

Coaching Relationships
According to both the Maslow and ERG Theory hierarchy of needs, esteem and relatedness are very important to a person. The need to feel appreciated, like at a job, is consistently ranked very high next to other even more basic needs. People need to feel connected. Dopamine connects people chemically. It makes you want to repeat an experience that feels rewarding. Forming positive experiences with other people causes them to produce dopamine when they think of you. Dopamine leads to cravings. Cravings pull from the heart, energetically speaking.

You’ve heard the expression: “My heart just isn’t into it anymore.” Likely what happened is that the reward circuit has stopped. Unpleasant memories have crowded out the pleasant ones. Dopamine production goes down, cravings for the person/activity dwindle.

more thoughts later…