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Curr Biol. 2009 Dec 29;19(24):2077-80. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.025. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

Dopamine enhances expectation of pleasure in humans.

Author information

1
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, UK. t.sharot@fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Human action is strongly influenced by expectations of pleasure. Making decisions, ranging from which products to buy to which job offer to accept, requires an estimation of how good (or bad) the likely outcomes will make us feel [1]. Yet, little is known about the biological basis of subjective estimations of future hedonic reactions. Here, we show that administration of a drug that enhances dopaminergic function (dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine; L-DOPA) during the imaginative construction of positive future life events subsequently enhances estimates of the hedonic pleasure to be derived from these same events. These findings provide the first direct evidence for the role of dopamine in the modulation of subjective hedonic expectations in humans.

PMID:
19913423
PMCID:
PMC2801060
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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