your article on dopamine

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your article on dopamine

Post by btillier » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:23 pm

Jesse, what is your academic background?

Taking a look at your article on dopamine, I have a couple of questions. Early on you suggest that you have not performed closed trials on your readership — could you explain what you mean by that?

You make the statement — motivation to improve the future stems from dissatisfaction with the present. Could you please provide a reference to that? Does dopamine specifically lead to, or contribute to, dissatisfaction with the present?

You use the terms desire domain and control dopamine — are these academic terms that are defined and accepted in the literature? References?

I’m sure you have done your homework and you are aware of the literature associating high levels of dopamine with externalizing behaviours such as antisocial behaviour and impulsivity (Hinshaw, 1992; Liu, 2004). Could you please differentiate or discuss the difference between impulsivity and overexcitability? Could you please distinguish the difference between hyperactivity and overexcitability?

You state that — Control dopamine is essentially what we measure when we determine someone’s intelligence quotient. Could you please cite a reference to the association between levels of dopamine and intelligence? Could you reconcile the literature on the findings that externalizing behaviour leads to reductions in academic achievement? (e.g., Westbrook, & Frank, 2018).

You use the term — “Dopaminergic people” and, in the book the authors (Lieberman and Long, 2018) use the terminology “dopaminergic personality”. This usage apparently primarily comes from Previc’s (2009) book. Could you please give me a single reference that describes the characteristics of the so-called dopaminergic personality, or, is it simply pop psychology?

Again you state — Dopaminergic people in particular tend to be rather harsh upon themselves. I find statements like this to be mere opinion and of very limited use if they are not backed up by references.

You state — But we’re dopaminergic people here, right? So we’re likely to insist on trying to improve ourselves. — then you go on to discuss happiness. Are you not conflating dopaminergic people with happiness? We have already seen dopamine is not related to happiness (see also Leyton, 2010).

You state — high levels of dopamine play a role in several mental illnesses, some of which are quite serious. Could you please tell us what mental illnesses you are referring to? Then you discuss creativity and madness. It might be helpful to the reader if you give a reference to the issue of creativity and madness — a very heavily researched topic (e.g., see Simonton, 2019).

You state — Ultimately, those of us with highly dopaminergic systems are both biologically programmed and socially conditioned to be all dopamine, all the time. What happened to serotonin and the other neurochemicals you referred to earlier in your article?

Here’s an impression — it’s so easy to become misinformed and to form incorrect conclusions when we focus on only one aspect – dopamine – at the expense of a balanced understanding of the way complex systems operate.

Hinshaw, S. P. (1992). Externalizing behavior problems and academic underachievement in childhood and adolescence: Causal relationships and underlying mechanisms. Psychological Bulletin, 111(1), 127–155.
Leyton, M. (2010). The neurobiology of desire: Dopamine and the regulation of mood and motivational states in humans. In M. L. Kringelbach & K. C. Berridge (Eds.), Pleasures of the brain (pp. 222-243). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.

Lieberman, D. Z., & Long, M. E. (2018). The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity―and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race. Dallas, TX: Benbella.

Liu, J. (2004). Childhood externalizing behavior: Theory and implications. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 17(3), 93–103.
Previc, F. H. (2009). The dopaminergic mind in human evolution and history. Cambridge University Press.

Simonton, D. K. (2019). Creativity and psychopathology: the tenacious mad-genius controversy updated. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 27, 17–21.

Westbrook, A., & Frank, M. (2018). Dopamine and proximity in motivation and cognitive control. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 22, 28–34.

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Re: your article on dopamine

Post by Jessie » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 pm

Sorry to hear you didn't like the article. I'm satisfied with quoting someone who is not only a practicing psychiatrist, but has contributed to textbooks on dopaminergic disorders, particularly about his own book. That is, of course, where the language I used comes from.

(Though you're right about that "closed trials" language. I had a volunteer inexperienced editor read it for copyediting and clarity after the two interview subjects reviewed the piece; he suggested that phrase, which I meant to replace but accidentally accepted. I dream of one day bringing another experienced editor on board to help with all the content and copy editing! Thanks very much for flagging that.)

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