The reward system

Circuits of motivation
for a better system.

The reward system is an interesting and complex mechanism of our brain. Put simply, it is about connecting certain situations with a feeling of pleasure. This increases our adaptability and thus our chances of survival are also improved.

What does this have to do with FitCoin? Out of painful self-awareness, I tell them about a classic life situation, which probably many can understand. Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that……On particularly unsuccessful days, it was probably the longest afternoon of your life so far, but even when you are in the flow, you meet up with friends for coffee or a beer, and there it is again, this burning desire for something. What happens? The compulsive attempt to slip into the role of a martyr, only to end up as a victim – the resistance was futile. Why, why, why?

The answer is shockingly simple. We are satisfied and this applies to many areas. From hunger and thirst to sex, extreme sports, and extraordinary experiences. All of them hold the hope and the learned pattern – experience and search of and for happiness. So when a pleasant feeling is associated with an activity, the brain also stimulates a learning process. This learning process aims to repeat or even increase this situation.

DEMAND AND THE PROSPECT OF REWARD MOTIVATE TO ACT

The neuronal reward system in the brain ensures this. With correspondingly positive sensations, our brain is flooded with messenger substances and allows us humans to act.

The reward system was discovered in 1954 by pure coincidence, by the US researchers James Olds and Peter Milner of the California Institute of Technology. Originally, they wanted to use laboratory rats to gain new insights into learning processes. When an electrode was accidentally attached to a wrong area of the brain, the light electrical currents triggered a surprising pattern of behavior. The rat had perceived the electric currents as a positive stimulus and wanted to return to this situation continuously, even after days. In the following years, the researchers used numerous tests to create a detailed map of the reward system in the brain. The circuit of the reward system includes numerous areas of the brain, which makes studying complicated. The Reward Center works in a multifactorial way and not only during basic activities such as eating or sex, it takes over essential functions in our lives and even significantly determines our behavior patterns, such as the search for happiness and recognition.

But why is that and what does it still have to do with our FitCoin and the ecosystems behind it?

The main actor in our story is dopamine as a messenger of happiness. Scientists speak of the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic reward system. Put simply, it is a circuit. The trigger that operates the switch comes from outside, in our case from our Ecosy themes and the respective catalogs as a reward system. If the trigger is attractive enough, it makes the limbic system react. It generates an urge that the large bark registers as a conscious desire. The brain now gives the body the order to satisfy this desire.

Now that I have taken the first step, collected a few FitCoins shortly afterward, and am approaching my goal, the tegmentum and substantia nigra in the ventral part of the midbrain come into action. The neurons project dopamine to the stratum and the limbic system, for example in the nucleus accumbens – where the feeling of happiness arises – and to the amygdala, which processes excitations and release it there. Also, the messenger substance reaches the hippocampus, where the information from various sensory systems converges, is processed there and sent back to the cortex. The hippocampus is especially important for memory and learning. Finally, the dopamine also reaches the large bark. In short, the neurotransmitter dopamine enables this circuit to be activated.

THE REWARD SYSTEM IS IN TRUTH AN ADAPTIVE FUNCTION

Our FitCoin system is geared to the pulse of time. Because contrary to the long erroneous conception of the scientists that the Dopamin would cause even the desire gain, newest investigations, so approx. starting from 1996 under the neurologist Kent Berridge from the University of Michigan and in further consequence, from many other scientists, researches with laboratory rates show that a decreased dopamine concentration in the appropriate brain areas, which require e.g. to look for food, was missing, the rats simply lacked motivation. If, however, the dopaminergic axons in the lateral hypothalamus were irritated, an intense craving for food was again produced without an increase in pleasure. Similar behavior as with addicts was observed.

The quintessence of it, the high feeling is not produced by Dopamin, but rather by body-own opiates, the Endorphinen, as well as other messenger materials such as the Oxytocin. From the perspective of our FitCoin Ecosystems, in simple terms, you could say that our app acts as a neurotransmitter – dopamine – and stimulates reward expectation. The opiate – the endorphins you provide through your catalog, the FitCoin App is the dopamine kick and generates desire when we expect the reward for exercise through the catalog. The participants learn about the anticipation of what gives pleasure and achieve the hoped-for reward. So behind the FitCoin Ecosystem is a combination of a reward & motivation system that reflects the latest findings and is ideal for changing our system, getting messages across, and filling processes with positive feelings.

by Dr. Bernhard G. Förg

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