Dopamine is released when one anticipates a pleasurable event says https://www.psywww.com/intropsych/ch09-motivation/pleasure-and-pain.html.

"People with more sensitivity to ritalin rated higher on Depue's positive emotionality index. "When our dopamine system is activated, we are more positive, excited and eager to go after goals or rewards, such as food, sex, money, education or professional achievements," according to Depue (Lang, 1996)/

Dopamine is associated with anticipation of sex, drugs, drinking, getting money, winning competitions, and religious worship. Religious worship? Yes, Previc (2006) summarizes the relevant research showing "dopaminergic activation as the leading neurochemical feature associated with religious activity." Dopamine is apparently a marker for the purusit [sic] of enjoyment of any type."

Is it released instantly like adrenaline, or more slowly?


1 Answer 1


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and released from synaptic ends via transporters. Such a release happens within milliseconds; the time present Dopamin needs to move some tens of nanometers.

Adrenalin is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, which needs to distribute through your body. This is several orders of magnitudes slower.

  • $\begingroup$ Within milliseconds of what exactly. I was thinking of the start time being the time a person decides to go to a bar and drink some alcohol, or to be more objective, the time someone hears a friend says, "What about going to bar now?". Also, does dopamine come with a recognizable sensation, like adrenaline or endorphin? $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2021 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ I am referring to the speed of release: The time the neural end needs to release Dopamine after receiving the electric signal. It seems you are interested in control of Dopamine synthesis/degradation. Unfortunately, I can't confidently answer such a question. Maybe edit your question and someone will answer it in this regard. $\endgroup$
    – KaPy3141
    Nov 9, 2021 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ "control of dopamine synthesis and degradation" seems like a promising search string for me. Is it that a certain type on neural end (which I take to mean the first half of a synapse) always uses dopamine as a neurotransmitter to trigger the second half, and then the residue of dopamine then drifts around the brain modifying how other synapses behave in such a way that the brain becomes more pleasure seeking? Or does work some other way? Or has this not yet been worked out by science? $\endgroup$ Nov 10, 2021 at 6:14

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