This report is by Jaden and Max
The human brain uses chemicals that occur naturally in the brain to stimulate your emotions. These chemicals are released from the temporal lobe part of the brain.
The chemicals made in the brain that make you happy are dopamine, serotonin,oxytocin and endorphins. The chemical dopamine fills in gaps between neurons, so the electrical messages that pass from neuron to neuron actually work better. This helps you learn new information more easily.
Unfortunately, the chemicals in the brain are also responsible for making you sad. When there’s an imbalance of chemicals in your brain, you may feel sad, or even depressed (very sad for a long period of time). If you are depressed, you should go to the doctor and get medicine to get your brain chemicals back in balance.
Some foods can change the amount of dopamine in the brain. Almonds, bananas, and milk can raise dopamine levels.
Dopamine is the chemical that makes you understand rewards. It also makes your brain want to try to get more rewards. For example, if you study hard and get a good grade on a test, your brain gives you a squirt of dopamine, and you feel happy and very proud of yourself. The feelings of happiness and pride are very positive feelings. This will make you want to study hard again next time, so you’ll achieve those same feelings of happiness and pride again.
Certain activities, like talking with friends, laughing, listening to someone read to you, doing something nice for someone, feeling grateful for what you have, or doing physical activity that you enjoy, all increase your dopamine levels. Try it! Do one of these, and see if your brain gives you a squirt of dopamine so you feel happier inside.
Surprisingly, dopamine also helps you learn. If you find a fun way to study, or make a game of getting your homework done, you’ll get a squirt of dopamine into your brain. This puts you in a happy mood. When you’re in a happy mood, the neurons send their electrical messages faster, and to more neurons. The electrical messages get into your hippocampus more easily. This is your memory center, so you remember the information you’re trying to learn more easily. Try it the next time you work to learn new information! It pays to make learning fun!
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What raises the dopamine level in YOUR brain?
“What You Should Know About Your Brain,” Judy Wills, Educational Leadership/ASCD ©2009