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pffff.... tons of email to handle.
> > If such behaviors were not rewarded the organism would not be
> > propelled to engage in the mentioned activities and
> > repetition of them would be absent (reinforcement).
> i think this reward mechanism is often quite complex and not really
> understandable. i think it can often be compared to obsessions or
> addictions rather than just "feeling good" when doing something.
It's complex alright... but it's also ubiquitous in our everyday
activities besides fostering addictions and obsessions.
The latter category may be conceived of as consisting
of unhealthy runaway activities which abuse an otherwise
perfectly sane, healthy and even vital survival mechanism.
Feeling good corresponds to a state of well-being which is
achieved after accomplishing any rewarding activity, be it
making a good test at school, passing for driver's license,
writing emails, cleaning house, you name it... It's all
under the direct supervision and evaluation of the reward-pathway.
In undertaking a new activity (learning process),
the RP in animals emits dopamine in the brain.
This neurotransmitter helps to attain higher stability
in the working memory. As such, dopamine actively helps to
learn the new activity by storing it into memory.
The feelings of reward and memory storage help to reinforce/repeat
the newly acquired or mastered activity.
Addiction, of whatever kind, and possibly obsession, of whatever
kind, abuse this reward/memory mechanism.
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