Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman - Dopamine: The Molecule of More
At the moment there is no more talked about neurotransmitter than dopamine. Our collective obsession with dopamine has led to a huge amount of content generated around so-called “dopamine fasts”, how to leverage dopamine for motivation, worries about dopamine-driven addiction to devices, pornography, food etc. In addition, there is a tremendous amount of confusion and misunderstanding around what dopamine actually does within the brain, especially with respect to the experience of pleasure. Professor, psychiatrist and author, Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman, joins us for a discussion of the major themes explored in his and Michale E. Long's book, The Molecule of More. In this conversation we cover:
why Dr. Lieberman wanted to write this bookwhat dopamine is, its function in the brain and the structures that regulate its functiona comparison of the dopamine system with neurotransmitter systems that are thought to be more related to "here and now" psychological experiences (e.g., serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins etc.)the neurobiology & genetics of “dopamine-driven” personalities vs. more “here and now” personalities/temperaments and the benefit of having a diversity of personalities in society, the workplace, a relationship etc. how the information and/or goals pointed to by dopamine can be integrated into one's values to generate actionable wisdom, especially around long-term goals the connection between dopamine and mental disorders with a special focus on ADHD, including the effective treatment of ADHD with compounds that promote the release of dopamine within the brainthe potential for our society to create challenges with attention & concentration given the infinite potential for dopamine-driven distractionhow we can learn to be a responsible steward of our dopamine system in a world where there is increasingly unlimited access to food, sex, pornography, information, news, visual stimulation (YouTube, TikTok etc.)how to create a sense of future & achievement without falling prey to immediate gratificationDr. Lieberman's view of so-called "dopamine fasting" and his own self-compassionate journey with respect to managing various pulls related to dopamine whether “healthy” psychological processes can become addictions through the lens of dopamine (e.g., entrepreneurship, starting companies, forming/beginning relationships)the fascinating relationship between testosterone & dopamine Bio: Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University, where he has earned awards for both teaching and research. He studied the Great Books at St. John’s College and attended medical school at New York University. He is the coauthor of the international bestseller The Molecule of More, which has been translated into 20 languages, and the author of the recently published, Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind. Dr. Lieberman has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and leading psychiatric textbooks, and has provided insight on psychiatric topics for the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Department of Commerce, and the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy.
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