Welcome to The Dopamine Project!

by Charles Lyell on May 5, 2013


Centuries ago, dopamine kept almost everyone from understanding, wanting to understand, and/or discussing the idea that the earth spins like a top around the sun. Decades ago, dopamine kept grocery shoppers frantically avoiding the first shopping carts. Today, dopamine is the reason people do not want to know that dopamine is a powerful, manipulative, and addictive drug that’s controlling everything we think about, believe, disbelieve, do, or don’t do.

The future depends on how long it takes researchers to “discover” what they haven’t been interested in noticing so far.

Rather than wait, I’m reaching out to anyone interested in fostering positive change by raising dopamine awareness.

The goal is to attract the attention of influential individuals capable of understanding five simple facts about dopamine:

  1. Everything we do involves protecting and triggering dopamine flow.
  2. All addictions are different forms of dopamine addiction.
  3. It’s possible to get addicted to any dopamine-inducing substance, object, belief or behavior, including money and all of Abraham Maslow’s four deficiency needs.
  4. Money and psychological addicts (addicted to safety/power, acceptance/approval/attention, and/or esteem/status) are more prevalent, dangerous, and self-deceptive than heroin, nicotine, and cocaine addicts.
  5. Dopamine awareness offers an array of effective tools that help explain and address seemingly inexplicable aberrant behaviors and man-made problems.

For the first time in history we have sophisticated brain scanning equipment that can compare the dopamine flow of money, psychological, nicotine, alcohol, food, and heroin addicts. PLUS, we have the internet.

Until now, the need to protect dopamine flow (against real and imagined threats to safety, acceptance, and esteem) has kept 99.99% of the population from wanting to understand heliocentrism, evolution, space travel, shopping carts, and anything else that threatens dopamine flow — until they felt it was safe to believe in the obvious. 

According to a paper published in 2010, Dopamine in motivational control: rewarding, aversive, and alerting,

Midbrain dopamine neurons are well known for their strong responses to rewards and their critical role in positive motivation. It has become increasingly clear, however, that dopamine neurons also transmit signals related to salient but non-rewarding experiences such as aversive and alerting events.

The idea of a single neurotransmitter being responsible for both addiction and avoidance might  sound absurd but it actually makes sense (once you raise your dopamine awareness). Heliocentrism was ignored, dismissed, and attacked for decades because the facts threatened Galileo’s enemies’ dopamine flow by righting their upside down world. Dopamine awareness poses an even greater threat to dopamine flow because it turns a dishonest reality inside out and exposes a crooked paradigm’s deceptions.

Like helicentrism, dopamine awareness is an observation that can be verified by anyone willing to take a look. Dopamine-induced aversive behavior explains why Galileo’s attackers adamantly refused to peer through a looking glass and today’s researchers aren’t looking to prove that it’s possible to get addicted to dopamine-induced emotions. Especially since admitting to addictions threatens dopamine flow by threatening the safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, and status we all crave.

If expectations of fostering positive change trigger a shot of dopamine that sends a smile to your face, this might be your chance to be among the top .000001% who go on record as the first to understand and apply what is currently known about dopamine to make a difference. 

Imagine if you could prove that your ancestor did something to help Galileo. Would the pride trigger a powerful, pleasant, healthy dopamine hit? This is your chance to deliver those esteem-boosting, dopamine-inducing gifts to your proud descendents.

I hope you’ll get Involved by learning about dopamine and dopamine addiction, telling the people you like and the ones you can’t stand, and doing everything you can to raise dopamine awareness.

There’s nothing to sign, nothing to join, nothing to buy.

The species you save, could be your own.


Charles Lyell


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