Baby's Smile a Natural High for Mom

Submitted by fleur_rare on
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please help - I'm confused now:

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20080707/babys-smile-natural-high-mom says:
"(...) Researchers found that when the mothers saw happy images of their own baby, activation increased in areas of the brain associated with reward and the neurotransmitter dopamine compared with seeing images of other babies."

This sounds like increasing dopamine activity while I would think this increases oxytocine activity. Same area does not mean same substance, I guess, but they make it look like that.
How strongly is dopamine related to the good feeling? Or is it not?

How much is dopamine involved in joy about the little things in life? Is it involved?

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As you'll

see when you read our new book, our theory is that nothing is rewarding without SOME dopamine. There could be no mother-child bonds or happy pair bonds without it, either. And in pair-bonding voles, it is the oxytocin and vasopressin receptors that trigger feelings of reward (via the dopamine-driven reward circuitry).

So it's not the case that "dopamine is bad and oxytocin is good." But dopamine without the balance provided by warm touch/close companionship, can dysregulate dopamine. So the more we engage in selfless affection as part of our connection, the more balance and lingering feelings of wholeness we experience. Conversely, the more we pursue bigger/better orgasms for their own sake, the less lasting satisfaction...and the greater the risk for lingering "low dopamine" in between "hits" (dopamine dysregulation). That can leave us feeling dissatisfied/hungry much of the time.

Here's a study that makes it clear that dopamine is vital to sustaining bonds, too:

http://www.genetics.ucla.edu/courses/hg19/monogamy.pdf

the different views...

yeah... that's what I guessed.

the problem is that the above research solely focusses on the dopamin and makes it look like "the more dopamin the better" which would be harming the rezeptors as we know now.

So it's best for both sides to keep a balanced view on those things and to admit that different hormones play their important roles.
Thanks for the link, I will read this now.