The Science of Nerdiness – Scientific American

Do you get excited and energized by the possibility of learning something new and complex? Do you get turned on by nuance? Do you get really stimulated by new ideas and imaginative scenarios?

If so, you may have an influx of dopamine in your synapses, but not where we traditionally think of this neurotransmitter flowing.

In general, the potential for growth from disorder has been encoded deeply into our DNA. We didn’t only evolve the capacity to regulate our defensive and destructive impulses, but we also evolved the capacity to make sense of the unknown. Engaging in exploration allows us to integrate novel or unexpected events with existing knowledge and experiences, a process necessary for growth.

Dopamine production is essential for growth. But there are so many misconceptions about the role of dopamine in cognition and behavior. Dopamine is often labeled the “feel-good molecule,” but this is a gross mischaracterization

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