Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Using Empirical Research Evidence, Explain the Effects

Words 735 (2 pages)

Using empirical research evidence, explain the effects of one neurotransmitter on human behavior. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers, which send signals and communicate information through neurons (nerve cells), cells, our brains and our bodies. Neurotransmitters are released and travel through terminals in the brain until they reach certain receptors. Neurotransmitters and their functions are located and carried out in different sections of the brain. It uses neurotransmitters to make your body carry out certain functions, such as making your heart beat and your lungs breathe.

Scientists are not sure of how many neurotransmitters actually exist, but they can be sorted into two main different types. These are called exitatory neurotransmitters and inhibitory neurotransmitters. Exitatory neurotransmitters stimulate different parts of the brain. Three wellknown types of exitatory neurotransmitters are dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine. Inhibitory neurotransmitters calm the brain and create balance. Three different types of inhibitory neurotransmitters are serotonin, gaba and dopamine.

Although dopamine was already mentioned as an exitatory neurotransmitter, it is special because it is considered to be both exitatory and inhibitory. Dopamine affects the 5 different dopamine receptors: dopamine 1 (D1), dopamine 2 (D2), dopamine 3 (D3), dopamine 4 (D4) and dopamine 5 (D5), and helps to control parts of the brain that react to pleasure and reward. It helps the brain not only to see rewards, but to motivate a person to obtain those rewards, or at least try to move towards them. It also helps to motivate humans to perform the actions again, to acquire the same rewards.

Order custom essay Using Empirical Research Evidence, Explain the Effects with free plagiarism report


This involves activities such as eating, sex, and other such activities that create a rush of adrenaline. Along with that, dopamine also helps the body to move and have emotional responses to certain objects or situations. A lack of the dopamine neurotransmitter can have a number of negative effects, one main illness being Parkinson's disease. Also, people that are low in or lacking in dopamine activity are more likely to have addictions or become chemical dependent. When dopamine is not produced correctly in the frontal lobe of the brain, attention, focus, memory and the ability to analyse can all be negatively effected.

The dopamine neurotransmitter can also effect people socially. Studies have shown that anxiety in social situations and a lack of dopamine 2 receptors can very often be linked, also, people with bipolar disorder are given drugs known as 'anti-psychotics', which block dopamine, in an aim to reduce mania. A study was carried out on May the 2nd and was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The scientists that worked on the study included a team of Vanderbilt University scientists, medicine student Michael Treadway and professor of psychology, David Zald.

The aim of the experiment, was to test whether ambitious and hard working 'go getters' in the workplace, who were willing and able to work hard to obtain the reward they want, had a different level of dopamine release in the brain (or certain parts of the brain), than workers that tended to slack off more and were less willing to work towards obtaining a reward. The team of scientists used a Positron emission tomography (or PET scan), which is a medical imaging technique, used to produce 3D images of functions taking place in the brain, and other parts of the body.

The scientists discovered that the ambitious workers, working towards a reward, had a larger release of the dopamine neurotransmitter in the parts of the brain that, studies have shown, are linked to motivation and obtaining reward. These parts of the brain are called the striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Not only did they find out this, but they also uncovered that less motivated people in the workplace had a high release of dopamine also, but in a completely different part of the brain. This dopamine release was happening in the anterior insula of the brain, which is the section that is linked to emotion and risk perception.

Many different types of studies have proven that dopamine affects going after rewards, and motivation in the brain, but the speciality of this particular study is that it proves that dopamine is not only linked to rewards in hardworkers, but also can be linked to emotions and risk perception in less ambitious workers. This empirical research study clearly shows that dopamine has an affect on human behaviour by effecting the ambition, or lack of it, in the workplace when it comes to working towards reaching a goal and obtaining a certain reward.

Using Empirical Research Evidence, Explain the Effects essay

This essay was written by a fellow student. You can use it as an example when writing your own essay or use it as a source, but you need cite it.

Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses

Starting from 3 hours delivery 450+ experts on 30 subjects
get essay help 124  experts online

Did you know that we have over 70,000 essays on 3,000 topics in our database?

Cite this page

Explore how the human body functions as one unit in harmony in order to life

Using Empirical Research Evidence, Explain the Effects. (2017, Jan 31). Retrieved from

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer