Motivation and the Brain

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Motivation and the Brain 1

Running Head: Motivation and the Brain

Motivation and the Brain

Allison Finnie

University of Phoenix

Motivation and the Brain 2

Motivation and the Brain

The process of trying to quit smoking is harder than one could ever imagine. This addiction will have you on a terrible emotional roller coaster where you’ll begin to have mixed emotions about what to do. People already smoke cigarettes for totally different reasons, such as loosing weight, relieving stress, and to control unwanted feelings. In the beginning your negative emotions will begin to over power the positive. On one hand your intellect knows that smoking cigarettes is a terrible thing to do to your body and your environment, and you want to quit, but on the other hand the biological brain has been formed to seek gratification and avoid grief. When it comes to trying to quit smoking several brain functions and structures are involved with this process as well as your environment and heredity. This paper will discuss the brain structures and functions that are involved with your behavior and emotions to drive people to smoke and quit smoking. And it will also discuss weather or not smoking is hereditary and how much effect the environment has on an individual who is trying to quit smoking. Dopamine is a hormone and a very important neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with pleasure and enjoyment. When dopamine is released into the nucleus accumbens dopamine will increase due to the affects from nicotine. Dopamine plays a very major role in addiction because it affects the brain process controlling the ability to experience pleasure. Endorphins are a type of chemical that blocks pain, and instead they produce feelings of happiness and well being. Endorphins are chemical substances in the nervous system that are also involved with pleasure. In addition, nicotine may produce a calming effect by triggering the release of beta-endorphins. Endorphins and Dopamine Motivation and the Brain 3 are both located in the midbrain and play a major role on a person’s addiction to nicotine. The midbrain is where neural centers are located near the top of the brainstem dealing with arousal. If someone is trying to maintain their weight by smoking cigarettes they may become an addict because of these structures within the brain along with environmental effects and heredity. Because of what their motivations are and their perceptions of pleasure they may not even be aware at the time that to quit smoking would become one of the most important decisions they would make in their life. This could be one of the main reasons why smokers have this craving for nicotine because of that first intake; chemically it’s hard to say no. The hypothalamus is a structure in the brain that is located beneath the thalamus. It maintains the body’s internal environment, emotions, and drives. In stressful situations certain chemicals are produced, and when an individual intakes nicotine the hypothalamus is stimulated in the same way. Most people say that smoking cigarettes make them calm and more relaxed. Yet within the brain the hypothalamus also affects the blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolism. This alone is a major problem for any smoker because this will cause you to possibly have a heart attack as well as having a lack of metabolism. Your health and your environment both should be significant to everyone. The amygdala also dealing with emotion is a lower-level brain structure that is part of the limbic system. The limbic system is involved with the arousal and regulation of...
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