If you are excited about something, then it is most probably the work of dopamine in your brain!
If you depressed, it is most probably the work of serotonin.
But what exactly are these two things? What are their functions and why are they important to brain health?
If you have any of these questions, we’ve done the research and we’ve got all the answers.
But before we get to the answers, here are some definitions:
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter; think of it as a messenger between the different regions of your brain! This particular neurotransmitter is responsible for the pleasure and reward regions of the brain.
Increase in dopamine levels prepares you for movement and excitement.
Serotonin is also a neurotransmitter. Its work is to promote calmness and peace. It also promotes deep sleep that is key for optimum brain function.
Are there any similarities between the two?
Yes, there are! The two are important neurotransmitters that are responsible for basically the same kind of emotions even though they operate in different parts of the brain (thus their different functions).
By working together, the two help with cognitive functions including memory, mood, processing information, mood, pleasure, motivation, motor function and compulsion.
Are there any differences?
There is the difference in their chemical structure. The different structures allow them to operate exclusively on different domains of the brain resulting in varying functions.
The functions of Dopamine
Dopamine works on the frontal cortex of the brain; a region responsible for multiple motor and sensory functions. The frontal cortex also hosts the pleasure and reward centers of the brain.
Increase in dopamine levels triggers feelings of satisfaction, and reward sensations. Dopamine is also responsible for motor function.
Nevertheless, low levels of dopamine bring about low mood, addictions, and even Parkinson’s disease. Besides, lack of dopamine can also significantly slow you down physically and mentally.
The functions of Serotonin
As mentioned before, Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter. In contrast to dopamine, serotonin more of a regulatory neurotransmitter.
It regulates muscle contraction, body temperature, sleep, appetite, mood and memory.
It also regulates the body’s circulatory and hormone systems!
What is more important to us for this article is the fact that low concentrations of serotonin trigger depression, mood changes, learning impairment, memory deficit, anxiety disorders, reduced empathy and sleeplessness.
Conclusion and recommendation
They both play important roles in facilitating the normal functioning of the brain.
Low concentrations of both neurotransmitters could lead to anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, and even feelings of suicide.
No need to look so sad all day!