The Role of Biogenic Amine Reward Pathways in Happiness and Sadness Research Paper by danbonsai

The Role of Biogenic Amine Reward Pathways in Happiness and Sadness
A neurobiological essay focusing on the biogenic amine reward pathways and biogenic amines, namely those of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline (norepinephrine).
# 16342 | 3,175 words | 19 sources | APA | 2002 | AU
Published on Jan 26, 2003 in Biology (Molecular and Cell) , Psychology (Physiological) , Biology (Bioethics)

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The paper looks at the anatomical origins of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline and their associated pathways, as well as the basic anatomy of the limbic system and its associated structures. The essay then goes on to explain that our brain is structured such that certain environmental stimuli can cause us to have positive or negative reinforcing experiences based on how our neurochemicals react in response to the situation. The reward pathways in our brain help to determine much of our everyday behavior, whether it may be the urge to eat, the drive to have sex or the addiction associated with mind-altering drugs. As such, we must receive appropriate stimulation and positive reward in order to function as individuals and be happy, or we are at risk of a reward deficiency resulting in negative emotions such as sadness or depression. There is also a discussion of how addictive behavior can be due to positive reward systems which have a very strong influence on the way we act.

From the Paper:

"Happiness and sadness are two primary human emotions, and whilst more often than not caused as a result of external stimuli, they are largely determined by neurobiological processes that occur in the brain namely that of biogenic amine reward pathways. We have to stimulate these pathways adequately every day if we are to function well mentally, physically and emotionally. The experience of emotion is integral to who we are as humans. Darwin (1872 in Ekman, 1973) defined emotion as essential to the welfare of group-living species. Without emotion, we would be unable to be attracted to one another, reproduce, or interact socially, amongst other things. Emotions also have distinct motivational properties (Izard, 1971) and understandably, the reward system and its close association with pleasure plays a large part in determining our actions. "Pleasure is unquestionably a key factor in controlling the motivated behaviors of humans." (Kandel et. al., 2000 p.1007) Emotions are known to lead to specific behavioral patterns that determine the way in which we live our lives and influence the experience of consequent emotions, for example, happiness or sadness."

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APA Format

The Role of Biogenic Amine Reward Pathways in Happiness and Sadness (2003, January 26) Retrieved December 06, 2021, from

MLA Format

"The Role of Biogenic Amine Reward Pathways in Happiness and Sadness" 26 January 2003. Web. 06 December. 2021. <>