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Brain circuit for this behavior

  1. Mar 13, 2018 #1

    What is the brain circuit responsible for this behavior.. for example.. a person used to be happy, then one day he won a lottery then realized he lost it then commit suicide.

    Another example. A person used to be happy.. then her found a man or woman lover who later dumped him/her then went into depression.. he/she could have been happier if she didn't meet the man or woman

    or another example. You have a normal job.. then found a big job with big salary.. then lost the opportunity and return to normal job.. but end up sad or angry...

    It seems related to this reward system in the brain? how does the neuro anatomy of it works? what exact organs are involved? And is there attempt to create medicine to fix it so one can become contended like living the life before one won and lost the lottery ticket?

    Is this behavior unique to the brain?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2018 #2


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    Gold Member

    I don't know anything about the physiology of it all, but disappointment is a function of expectations.
  4. Mar 14, 2018 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    The brain was not designed by an EE - there are few relatively few dedicated "circuits" in the brain itself. Most of the ones that exist are part of systems present in so-called primitive animals. Sense of smell or vision, for example.

    As to anxiety and depression, it is complex, and I am no expert. Here is a discussion from NIH:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK20438/ -- the biochemistry of anxiety and moods.

    Humans can alter moods by dwelling on an unpleasant thought, for example. So they actually alter levels of chemicals that act on their brain, like serotonin.
  5. Mar 20, 2018 at 2:02 PM #4
    It is a difficult question and one that's complicated by a lot of pop neuroscience. Firstly the brain is always busy and doing multiple things, most of the attempts to localize function seem to suggest that most areas can be associated with multiple functions, even these areas cannot act in isolation so most neuroscience now looks at networks of brain activity. If we use your example of being dumped you could think of systems that might be involved, obviously there would be memory systems about the person and your relationship, its well known that memory storage is widely distributed across the brain. Then there are thinking and appraisal systems which call on memory and the value and emotional control systems at this point you might realize that while the brain has executive functions it doesn't and can't act in isolation, emotions are called feelings for good reason. So we become aware of our body sensations and hormones are released which directly effect brain functioning. Our initial reactions are often related to the loss of something we value, but the more we think about the situation we start to include other factors. So that's got most of our physical systems involved, you will also see single transmitter substances identifies as controlling specific feelings, serotonin and dopamine are often described as the feel good transmitters, again a gross simplification. Transmitters are often used in a range of neural networks with each neuron receiving messages via several different transmitters, they simply don't work in isolation, nor do they have specific associations with a function.
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