Electronics & Semiconductors

An artificial neuron that can receive and release dopamine

A team of researchers from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China and Nanyang Technological University and the Agency for Science Technology and Research in Singapore ...

Computer Sciences

DeepMind uses neural network to help explain meta-learning in people

A team of researchers led by a group at Google subsidiary DeepMind has developed a theory regarding how human meta-learning works by comparing it to a certain type of deep learning network on computers. In their paper published ...

Dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter occurring in a wide variety of animals, including both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the brain, this phenethylamine functions as a neurotransmitter, activating the five types of dopamine receptors — D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5, and their variants. Dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain, including the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area. Dopamine is also a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus. Its main function as a hormone is to inhibit the release of prolactin from the anterior lobe of the pituitary.

Dopamine can be supplied as a medication that acts on the sympathetic nervous system, producing effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. However, because dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, dopamine given as a drug does not directly affect the central nervous system. To increase the amount of dopamine in the brains of patients with diseases such as Parkinson's disease and dopa-responsive dystonia, L-DOPA (levodopa), which is the precursor of dopamine, can be given because it can cross the blood-brain barrier.

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