I've recently heard a podcast which explained teenage impulsivity and novelty seeking in part by
- "Lowering the baseline dopamine activity in the reward system"
- "Increase in dopaminergic reward in response to novelty"
Starting in early adolescence and peaking midway through, this enhanced dopamine release causes adolescents to gravitate toward thrilling experiences and exhilarating sensations. Research even suggests that the baseline level of dopamine is lower—but its release in response to experience is higher—which can explain why teens may report a feeling of being “bored” unless they are engaging in some stimulating and novel activities.
The dopamine system here is being compared to the child's dopamine system. I'm interested in what happens to the dopaminergic system once a teenager/adolescent becomes an adult at around the age of 24-25?
I'm looking for insight along these lines - does the reward system of an adult "settle down" and no longer respond to novelty as strongly? Is the baseline dopamine level higher?