Friday, 1 July 2011

Neurotransmitters of the mind

Most important neurotransmitters are:
- Serotonin: a feel-good chemical that effects: mood, anxiety, sleep, pain, appetite and blood pressure
- Acetylcholine: controls activity in brain. It's connected with attention, learning and memory
- Noradrenalin:  an excitatory chemical that induces physical and mental arousal
- Glutamate: the brain's major excitatory neurotransmitter related to learning and long-term memory
- Enkephalins and Endorphins: endogenous opioid, reduces stress and pain
- Oxytocin: creating bonds of warmth and trust between people, especially mothers and babies and lovers.

An interesting point:
"....Morality, altruism, spiritual and religious experiences, aesthetic appreciation, even love, have generally been thought of as being beyond scientific exploration. Yet all these seemingly impenetrable mysterious are now revealing their physiological roots, and in some cases they can be manipulated simply be touch of a perfectly-placed electrode...." p13

Rita Carter, (2010) Mapping of the mind, Phoenix, London

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