Dopamine Challenge: Attention All Neurocritics

by Charles Lyell on March 20, 2014

Neurocritics who summarily dismiss neurocentrism are like marionettes dismissing their strings.

Neurocentrism is a behavioral model that links all behavior to maintaining dopamine flow. Ironically, the need to protect dopamine flow keeps neurocritics clinging to the conceit that human behavior is too complicated to be reduced to neurotransmitters.

With the help of modern brain scanning equipment, researchers have connected dopamine with addictions to heroin, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, salt, sugar, junk foods, gambling, video games, social media, and on and on. Unless this is the first post you’re reading on this site, you already know I believe the list of addictive behaviors should be extended to include all of the survival behaviors humans share with chimpanzees. Abraham Maslow called them deficiency needs (d-needs) for food, sex, safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, and status. Along the way, clever ancestors added addictions to belief systems and money. Money is especially addictive because it can be converted into dopamine-triggering foods, sex, safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, status, bets, drugs, and/or more money.

Understanding why neurocritics do what they do is a no-brainer. The need to maintain dopamine flow is so powerful chimpanzees and PhDs frantically avoid real and imagined threats to safety, approval, and esteem. What’s unique about neurocritics is how boundless self-deceptions help them artificially inflate their power, approval, attention, esteem, and dopamine flow by looking down on what they fear.

By dismissing what they can’t disprove, clever neurocritics demonstrate how dopamine overrides rational thinking and keeps seemingly intelligent individuals from understanding how a neurotransmitter is pulling their strings.

If neurocritics were capable of rational thinking they’d realize how similar they are to the scholars who mocked Galileo for pointing out the obvious, the doctors who banished Ignaz Semmelweis for suggesting unwashed hands were killing patients, and Dr. Dionysus Ladner (Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London) who was absolutely positive “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”

Like yesteryear’s pundits, neurocritics aren’t necessarily evil and they aren’t all intellectually challenged. Their problem is an inability to handle information that threatens safety, esteem, and dopamine flow.

Benign neurocritics would be tolerable but annoying. As history proves, ad nauseam, the most destructive critics are easily threatened and ruthless insiders driven to eliminate threats to their self interests. Left to their own devices, critics have been a blight on our species. For the first time it’s possible to expose the hypocrites for what they are — safety, power, approval, esteem, and money addicts in desperate need of professional help.

And that’s exactly what I intend to continue doing.

On that note, here’s my challenge to self-appointed neurocritics everywhere – do your best to prove me wrong.

  • If you succeed, I’ll thank you, pack up my tent, and move on.
  • If you fail, I’ll use your efforts to help others understand how dopamine works.

Please send your objections, dismissals, comments, and misgivings about neurocentrism to

Thank you





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