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Esedess's avatar

Can you consciously trigger dopamine release?

Asked by Esedess (3439points) April 28th, 2015

…at least that’s what I assume it is.

The sensation of “chills” or “tingling” that originates from the back of your head/neck and travels down your spine and forearms.

Strangely (or perhaps not), I’ve had conscious control of this sensation for as long as I can remember. Only somewhat recently have I given it any thought. One thing I do notice is that if I do it in rapid succession, the sensation lessens each time until eventually I feel the “click” or “trigger” without the resulting flow of tingles. Like a car trying to burn gas that isn’t there.
Then I can wait a few seconds to a minute and the sensation will be back to its normal potency the next go.

This experience of it, a drain-able commodity that refills quickly, is what led me to assume it was a chemical release. However, it also begs the question of if I’m in constant low supply due to my conscious/unnecessary use of it. Furthermore, I’ve yet to find a productive function for it and I haven’t particularly noticed it improving my mood when I do it.
I’m curious if any others have control of this sensation, and if so, what your take on it is and/or if you’ve found a use for it.

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8 Answers

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ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Tried ASMR ? ( youtube it) does not work for me but probably does for you. It relieves anxiety regardless if you feel “tingles” or not.
Music does it for me, especially anything with a long, drawn out buildup and a crescendo

Esedess's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Nope, never tried ASMR. I’ve seen a few brief examples of it (usually in the form of tosh.0 type skits) but think those noises would just bug the hell out of me. I generally hate the sounds of incessant whispering, people eating, or the like…

I guess I’ll give it a try though… for science…

What made you bring up ASMR?

fluthernutter's avatar

There is a correlation between dopamine and tingling. Usually accompanied by changes in mood though.

Are there any other side effects to this? Elevated heart rate? Dilated pupils?

Esedess's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Well… I didn’t absolutely hate it like I thought I would… But it didn’t really do much either. If I pushed myself into it, I got a tingle in my right shoulder for a few seconds once, but it’s hard to attribute that to the video, and not what I’ve described above.. After watching quite a few of those though, it seems like people’s response to them is just a matter of neurons firing. If someone makes a 3D recording that is intended to sound like they’re touching your head, then your nerves fire in that area in response and it can feel like they’re actually touching you. Kinda like the pre-reaction to what happens if you’re about to put something you know is really sour in your mouth. You’re brain knows it’s coming and generates the sensation independent of the actual event. It was worth a shot though.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s said to cause tingling sensations in some people just like what music does only more pronounced

Esedess's avatar

@fluthernutter
The hairs on my arm stand up… Sometimes my eyes droop for an instant at the moment I trigger it. But besides what I already mentioned, really that’s about it. I’ll try to pay closer attention to my mood next time I do it.

@ARE_you_kidding_me That sensation you get from music is pretty much exactly what I’m talking about in this question, with the exception that you make it happen without music if you want (and it can be more pronounced).

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