What is changing in the brain when something amazing happens to you for the first and you feel great. But the next time it happens you don’t get as excited as before and then after the 100th time it has no effect on your happiness?

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I know it’s the same as getting bored / loosing interest. But is it like a sort of dopamine resistance??

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The difference between something new/enjoyable and something not-new/enjoyable is … the new.

The brain craves novelty, that is.. new experiences. Some people crave it more than others. Sometimes the excitement and the enjoyment are related to the new-ness, not the activity itself.

I’ve got friends who work in neuroscience studying this stuff and how it relates to drugs like cocaine and meth. It’s pretty crazy stuff.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The law of diminishing marginal utility explains that as a person consumes more of an item or product, the satisfaction (utility) they derive from the product wanes. Demand curves are downward sloping in microeconomic models since each additional unit of a good or service is put toward a less valuable use.
Source : Google

Anonymous 0 Comments

The hedonistic treadmill, and diminishing returns.

First the hedonistic treadmill. Brain likes patterns and sets expectations. When a good thing happens unexpectedly, it’s great! When it happens twice, hey, ok, this is a thing that happens. When it happens yet again, you can.start to expect it. Patterns make sense. It’s solved – this is a recurring event and expected. Rely on it, your brain says. It’s not out of the ordinary. It’s completely ordinary. Brain is satisfied it did its job of making a pattern. Only something different is extraordinary.

Diminishing returns is even simpler. When something fulfills a need or want, boom, that’s amazing. But the amazing bit isn’t the thing, it’s the need or want being fulfilled. There’s less need now. So the reward is less too. You get it again, it fills a smaller need, the reward is fine. When you don’t need it anymore, and there’s no more gap to fill, the reward is nothing. You were cold, you got a blanket. Sweet. Two blankets, nice. Third, ok sure. Fifteenth?? No thanks.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’m not a scientist, but I read a little bit. A big part of it is how your brain experiences pleasure and processes the chemicals that are associated with pleasure. Dopamine plays a major role in this.

Our brains are really good at adapting to things. One of the ways it does this, is through receptor regulation. Meaning, the receptors that “grab on” to things like dopamine can change their amounts and sensitivities, depending on how stimulated they are.

An easy way to picture it, hold out your arm with your fingers outstretched. Your 5 fingers are like the receptors I talked about. Little bitty dopamines would attach to each of your fingers and that would make you feel good. If you keep doing that thing that releases dopamine (especially in excess), like eating certain foods, doing certain activities, etc., your brain will realize, *”Hey, we’re getting a pretty steady supply of this dopamine stuff. Let’s pull 1-2 of those fingers in, because we don’t need them all sitting around waiting to grab stuff. This is not a 5 finger job.”*

It can also work in the opposite way, where more fingers will get extended out, because the brain decides it needs to get more of something.

This is why addictions escalate so dangerously. Your neurochemistry is requiring you to do more and more of that thing to experience the same level of satisfaction, because you have overstimulated and desensitized your neurotransmitters.

This is a really crude explanation, and like I said, I’m not an expert at all. This is just the simplest way I can explain my basic understanding of the up/down regulation of receptors in the body. I mostly posted this because I’m sure there is someone that actually knows and can say if I’m even close on this. I just find this stuff fascinating.