Role of dopamine in mood, cognition, cravings and perceptionWhat is the role of dopamine and mood, cognition, cravings and perception?

The authors of the study “Epigenetic reprogramming of cortical neurons through alteration of dopaminergic circuits” explain the critical importance of dopamine levels (signalling) in this press release:

Dysfunction in dopamine signalling profoundly changes the activity level of about 2,000 genes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and may be an underlying cause of certain complex neuropsychiatric disorders.

Keep that in mind as you read on. The research gathered here isn’t directly about sex. However, sexual arousal and climax affect dopamine signalling. Thus, managing sex carefully may be a way to optimise mood and wellbeing by promoting balanced dopamine levels/signalling.

Synergy practitioners sometimes report that careful use of sexual energy helps improve judgment and cognition/attention, and ease depression, social anxiety, and even addiction. The sprinkling of research below suggests how important dopamine signalling is in all of these areas.


Moral judgments recruit domain-general valuation mechanisms to integrate representations of probability and magnitude

Scientists identify connection between dopamine and behavior related to pain and fear

Dopamine Modulates Egalitarian Behavior In Humans  

Exposure to Sexual Stimuli Induces Greater Discounting Leading to Increased Involvement in Cyber Delinquency Among Men

Making the right first impression: Sexual priming encourages attitude change and self-presentation lies during encounters with potential partners

Does the horny man think women want him too? Effects of male sexual arousal on perceptions of female sexual willingness

Subjective Experiences During Dopamine Depletion


Assessment of Striatal Dopamine Transporter Binding in Individuals With Major Depressive Disorder: In Vivo Positron Emission Tomography and Postmortem Evidence

Investigating dopamine and glucocorticoid systems as underlying mechanisms of anhedonia

Anhedonia revisited: Is there a role for dopamine-targeting drugs for depression? (2013)

Assessment of Striatal Dopamine Transporter Binding in Individuals With Major Depressive Disorder: In Vivo Positron Emission Tomography and Postmortem Evidence

Dopaminergic mechanism of antidepressant action in depressed patients

Emotion-based decision-making in healthy subjects: short-term effects of reducing dopamine levels


Striatal Dopamine D2/D3 Receptor Availability Predicts Episodic Verbal Memory and Executive Function in Medication-Free Major Depressive Disorder Patients

Long-Term Stimulant Treatment Affects Brain Dopamine Transporter Level in Patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Balanced Dopamine Is Critical for Pattern Completion during Associative Memory Recall

Evaluating dopamine reward pathway in ADHD: clinical implications

Social anxiety

Dopaminergic challenges in social anxiety disorder evidence for dopamine D3 desensitisation following successful treatment with serotonergic antidepressants 

Dopaminergic mechanisms underlying normal variation in trait anxiety

Dopamine improves deficiencies in social behavior could have implications for neuropsychiatric disorders

Changes in dopamine D2-receptor binding are associated to symptom reduction after psychotherapy in social anxiety disorder


Natural Rewards, Neuroplasticity, and Non-Drug Addictions