What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.

Dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson’s Disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. Most abused drugs cause the release of dopamine and this is thought to contribute to their addictive properties.

This video describes some of the cognitive functions of dopamine in your brain.

Is the internet changing your brain?

Is the internet changing the way we think?

This Saturday, 11 June, I am looking forward to giving a talk at 3D Camp at the University of Limerick on how the internet is changing our brain. I will be exploring the question of whether our brains are being altered due to our increasing reliance on search engines, social networking sites and other digital technologies.

Using a basic understanding of brain structure (neurology) I will explain the concept of ‘brain plasticity’- the ability of the brain to constantly rewire itself – and will show how all learning changes the shape of the brain, allowing specific areas in the brain to grow or change. I will also be demonstrating how the new ‘cybertherapies’ are being used to help patients suffering from addiction and post traumatic stress disorder back to health.  I believe this new resource has the potential to dramatically improve mental health including new opportunities to learn healthy habits to lift our mood and enhance our brains longevity.

There are still places left on this themed Barcamp which looks at The Internet Beyond Web 2.0. Areas. Attendance is FREE! 

Click here to register