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The Face of Dopamine

Imagine the first taste of solid food you ever ate in your whole life. Your dopamine surged and it created the feeling of “Wow! Get me more of this.” Let’s zoom in on that moment because it helps us understand the dopamine urge for more.

Here is a video of a baby having her first bite of food ever. It’s fun to watch because she literally bounces with joy. But even more fun is the moment before the joy, when she’s still trying to make sense of the input (from 7 seconds until 12 seconds). She freezes and her eyes widen, as if to say: “What is this? It is more rewarding than anything I have ever experienced!!” Of course, she doesn’t think that consciously, so let’s zoom in even closer on the biology of reward.

We are All Born With Needs

We are all born with needs we cannot meet for ourselves. A newborn baby does not even know what milk is. But when you’re hungry, your blood sugar falls and that triggers cortisol, “the stress chemical.” Cortisol triggers crying, and that brings milk which relieves the hunger.

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