Why motivation to learn declines with age
As people get older, they often lose their motivation to learn new things. This get-up-and-go attitude is vital for our social well-being and learning.
In order to survive, we need to be able to learn what is good for us, and what is bad for us. But, a person may value a reward so highly that the risk of experiencing a possible cost is ignored. Another may wish to avoid the cost to the exclusion of all rewards. This may result in reward-driven learning in some, and cost-driven learning in others.
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Dopamine plays many roles in the brain. It is related to movement, motivation, and reinforcement of behavior.
Dopamine appears to exert significant effects in two regions of the brain's cortex, the motor cortex, and the insular cortex. The insular cortex is critical for many cognitive functions related to the perception of the body's internal states, including physical and emotional states.
Dopamine, like other neurotransmitters, helps neurons communicate with each other over short distances. Most of the brain's dopamine is produced in the midbrain by neurons that connect to the striatum.
High dopamine concentrations do not make the neurons more active. However, they do make the neurons remain active for a more extended period of time, suggesting a longer response to the reward. It may have something to do with how dopamine promotes learning, which is one of its main functions.
Researchers set out to determine if dopamine might affect more distant locations in the brain.
The regions that showed the most significant surges in activity in response to dopamine were the motor cortex and the insular cortex. The findings can help researchers understand the effects of dopamine in the human brain, including its roles in addiction and learning.
It's possible to be completely isolated and feel invigorated.
It is also possible to be surrounded by a crowd or be accompanied by close friends and feel lonely.
When humans fall in love, their bodies are actively producing feel-good hormones and preventing the release of negative hormones.
When this process suddenly stops, the "withdrawal" felt can be extremely difficult to process both on an emotional and physiological level.
Heartbreak is a form of grief and loss that can cause serious issues with insomnia, anxiety and depression.
The pain we feel during heartbreak is similar to the physical pain we feel due to a severe burn on a broken arm.