Motivation and emotion/Book/2016/Euphoria as an emotion

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Euphoria as an emotion:
What is euphoria, what causes it, and what are its consequences?
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Overview[edit | edit source]

Figure 1. Euphoria is an intense happiness.

Suppose you are watching an Olympic final with your friends and your favourite athlete has just won a gold medal. There will be all sorts of emotional excitement because this is the moment that everyone has been waiting for. Your emotions are heightened and your body feels natural excitement. Euphoria is a state of intense excitement and happiness. German professor, Karl-Ernst Buhler, explained that “euphoria provides a feeling of omnipotence as well as of perfection and so opens up worlds of bliss”. This chapter will explore what is euphoria, what causes the euphoria and its consequences.

Definitions[edit | edit source]

Euphoria, its[grammar?] Greek root of eu meaning good/well, pherein meaning to bear/to carry, and ia indicating a condition or quality. Literally, euphoria means “bear well” (Oxford English Dictionary, 2016). Blakemore and Jennet (2003) defined euphoria, “the individuals who support happiness or bear themselves with joy”[grammar?]. In XVI[grammar?] century physicians used the term for the condition of feeling healthy and comfortable especially when sick[factual?]. In other words, it has been used when medicine became effective for a patient (Etymology Dictionary, 2016). The word, which is[grammar?] now interpreted as a strong feeling of well-being, cheerfulness, and optimism, especially one based on overconfidence or overoptimism (English dictionary, 2016). Euphoria also can be described as an effective state of exaggerated well-being or elation (Dictionary of Psychology, 2016). In medical terms, a mood marked by the idea of euphoria described as symptomatic of a mental illness or the influence of drugs[grammar?]. A morbid degree of euphoria is characteristic of mania and hypomania (Medical dictionary, 2016). Bearn and Brian (2015) described euphoria as “a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness, is an amplification of pleasure, aspired to one's essential biological needs that are satisfied”[grammar?].

Causes of euphoria[edit | edit source]

Euphoria can occur naturally as results[grammar?] of a love, sex, exercise, music, laughter, and even in religious rituals[factual?]. Moreover, certain drugs such as stimulants and depressants can induce euphoria. Some party drugs been used as a shortcut to euphoria (Bearn & O'Brien, 2015). People can experience intense pleasure to certain stimuli and are associated with neural activations in several reward-systems which have been implicated in emotion and motivation (Georgiadis & Kringelbach, 2012; Mirko et al., 2014; Salimpoor et al., 2013; Cohen et al., 2010).

Figure 2. Dopamine-Based Reward Circuit.

The dopamine-based reward circuit begins in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) where dopamine is manufactured and then released to the nucleus accumbens (NA). Nucleus [grammar?] responds to signals of reward to produce pleasure and liking. The neurotransmitter dopamine links together the VTA area and NA to create biology of reward[grammar?]. From NA, the reward centre extends into the prefrontal cortex where person[grammar?] experiences direct pleasure and the orbitofrontal cortex where person[grammar?] stores the reward experiences. Together, these two subcortical brain structures form the neural basis of the dopamine-based reward centre (Reeve, 2015).

Quick quiz[edit | edit source]

Test your knowledge on [grammar?] reward circuit:

1 Dopamine is....[grammar?]?


2 In what area of the brain [grammar?] the dopamine is manufactured?

nucleus accumbens.
prefrontal cortex.
ventral tegmental area.

Exercise induced[edit | edit source]

Physical activity [grammar?] defined as body movement produced by muscles that results in energy expenditure. Walking, running, dancing, swimming and yoga, even gardening are examples of physical activity. Correctly performed exercise and physical activity has been reported beneficial to variety of physiological and psychological well-being [grammar?] (Dinas, Koutedakis, & Flouris, 2011). Studies indicated that endurance training stimulates the release of endorphins creating a sense of euphoria that has rewarding properties[factual?]. Running especially can induce feelings like “pleasant, harmonious, or even drug like orgiastic sensations, commonly referred to as runner’s high. Spesifically[spelling?], the runner’s high euphoric state results from long distance running (Cohen, Frey, Knight, & Dunbar, 2010).

Moreover, researchers measured the phenylethylamine concentration from the urine after exercising aerobic from moderate to hard level. Phenylethylamine (β-PEA) has an antidepressant effect, further linked to cerebral endorphin activity[factual?]. [which?] Study revealed that high level of increased β-PEA activity showed after a moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise (Szabo, Billett, & Turner, 2001).

In addition, strongly synchronized[explain?] physical activity elevates mood and [grammar?] associated with strong sense of euphoria. Cohen, Frey, Knight, and Dunbar (2010) looked at the synchronised training compared with training alone. They measured pain threshold that extensively used assessment for central nervous system for endorphin uptake. They found that synchronised activity compared with training alone somehow heightens opioidergic activity. Empirical studies suggest that enhanced endorphins are seen to be catalysed by the synchronised activities such as singing and walking due to increased collaboration. As a result of such synchronized performance, participants are synergized as they become more willing to behave selflessly towards those whom perform such activities[explain?].(Cohen, Frey, Knight, & Dunbar, 2010).

Love euphoria[edit | edit source]

Figure 1. Early stage intense romantic love induce euphoria.

Love can be many types. Maternal love to her child, passionate and intense love of a new couple, unconditional love of long lived couple, universal or the divine love of God ... and so on. But one might wonder what happens in [grammar?] brain when we love someone or when we feel loved by someone? The [what?] science has given enormous advantage to look inside brains by viewing patterns of activity and measure the biochemical activation of love euphoria. Researchers suggest that early stage romantic love can induce euphoria and intense focused attention on a chosen partner (Blum, et al., 2012). Aron and colleagues (2005) used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine these intense attraction systems in a woman and men who were extremely in love. The results suggest that these intense attraction systems associated with dopamine based mesolimbic pathways (sometimes referred to as reward pathway) in the brain (Aron, Fisher, Mashek, Strong, Li, & Brown, 2005). Additionally, mesolimbic dopamine release has shown in the brain when people engage in pleasurable experiences like having sex especially during orgasm, and doing cocaine, as well as eating chocolate (Blum, et al., 2012). It is interesting to note that the same areas of patterns activated by romantic pleasure when mother view the picture of her children[grammar?]. It can be explained that maternal and romantic love shares the same evolutionary purpose to maintain and develop the species (Zeki, 2007).

Music euphoria[edit | edit source]

Why do we enjoy music? Listening to emotionally arousing music and music-making can trigger feeling of euphoria involving the dopaminergic pathways[grammar?]. It has been accepted universally that music can effectively induce highly pleasurable emotional reactions[factual?]. Listening to music not only engages the auditory cortices, but also ventromedial prefrontal regions especially in nucleus accumbens showed increasing activity which implicated the reward circuit (Mavridis, 2015)[Provide more detail]. Salimpoor and his colleagues (2011) looked at dopamine release using fMRI during experience of peak emotion to music. The findings confirmed several previous studies that intense pleasure experienced when listening to music is associated with dopamine activity in the mesolimbic reward circuit, including both dorsal and ventral striatum. That is, music stimuli are similar to other artistic and pleasure stimuli, experiences peak reward response (Benovoy, Larcher, Dagher, Zatorre, & Salimpoor, 2011).

Drug induced[edit | edit source]

Stimulants[edit | edit source]

Figure 3. Methamphetamine induces euphoria by increasing dopamine leves.

In an international survey it has been cited that people use drugs to seek the effects of euphoria, sociability and sexual enhancement[factual?]. Stimulant drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, sometimes called “uppers”, temporarily increase alertness, energy and induce euphoria (Anderson, Kim-Katz, Dyer, & Blanc, 2010). Cocaine is a drug that acts with synaptic dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, but its behavioural effects are primarily increases synaptic dopamine. Like cocaine, methamphetamine induces euphoria by increasing synaptic dopamine. Methamphetamine is a lipophilic weak base and enters nerve terminals readily by diffusing across the plasma membrane[grammar?]. Once inside the terminal, methamphetamine causes the release of dopamine into the synapse and binds to the dopamine reuptake transporter to prevent reuptake. In contrast to cocaine, methamphetamine also increases cytoplasmic dopamine which causes neurotoxicity (Seger, 2010). Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or ecstasy is most popular party drug worldwide. Like other amphetamines, it also increases the dopamine and noradrenaline levels by reversing the action of dopamine active transporter (DAT) and norepinephrine transporter (NET). The acute psychological effects of MDMA include a sense of well-being, euphoria, and increases interpersonal communication, leading ecstasy being dubbed “the love drug” (Anderson, Kim-Katz, Dyer, & Blanc, 2010).

Depressants[edit | edit source]

In contrast to stimulant drugs, certain depressants such as alcohol, ketamine and gamma-hydroxy-butyrate (GHB) can induce euphoria. During the first 10-15 minutes alcohol consumption gives the feeling of euphoria and well-being. The neurochemical basis of euphoria, particularly induced by alcohol is still remains controversial. Four neuronal mechanisms such as dopaminergic, y-aminobutyric (GABA)-ergic, opioidergic and serotonergic systems have been implicated so far. It has been suggested that ethanol may [grammar?] causing the relaxation, and inducing euphoria by releasing dopamine from ventral tegmental area, through activating GABA receptors (Littleton & Little, 1994). It also has been suggested that central stimulants induce euphoria by activating dopamine circuits in mesolimbic neurones (Dakis & Gold, 1990).

Gamma-hydroxy-butyrate (GHB) at small doses can activate the GHB receptors and affects the release of dopamine inducing euphoria and nausea. At high dose, GHB has a modulatory function at the GABA-B receptor leading to reduced dopamine levels and central nervous system (CNS) depression. (Schep, Knudsen, Slaughter, Vale, & Megarbane, 2012).

Ketamine activates dopaminergic reward networks. With repeated administration, dopamine supplies are depleted promoting both euphoric effects and the development of tolerance. In contrast, repeated administration of ketamine enhances serotonin levels, and single dose of ketamine has been demonstrated to improve depressive symptoms for up to 1 week (Zarate, et al., 2006).

Mania[edit | edit source]

Everyone in their lives somehow experience elevated mood or intense happiness when falling in love, qualify [grammar?] for a medal at sporting event, graduating from university studies or winning the lottery. These mood states become a concern only when [grammar?] individual feels persistently euphoric for no particular reason (Peter & Whybrow, 1997). Manic episode[grammar?], or mania, is characterized by the occurrence of euphoric or irritable, persistently elevated or expansive mood. During a manic episode a person usually has an inflated sense of self that reaches grandiosity. Manic episode [grammar?] is core syndrome of bipolar disorder. During a manic episode people generally require less sleep, experience their thoughts as racing and feel a constant need to talk. Individuals with bipolar disorder have manic episodes but often experience both emotional poles of depression and mania (Koukopoulos & Ghaemi, 2009). In manic states, people feel excessively happy and believe they sense that anything is possible (e.g., believe that one can fly or read the thoughts of other people).

Hypomania basically has the same symptom profile of mania with the distinction being that in hypomania the symptoms are not severe enough to markedly interfere with daily functioning. The bipolar disorder make up of combinations of Manic, Hypomanic, and Major depressive disorder (Koukopoulos & Ghaemi, 2009). Functional MRI showed abnormalities coincide in the prefrontal white matter, in particular prefrontal and temporal cortex associative tracts that [grammar?] involved human with emotion (Mahon, Burdick, & Szeszko, 2010). Another study revealed reduced activation of right rostral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and [grammar?] same time increased activity I anterior cingulate, amygdala, and paralimbic cortex (Pavuluri, Passarotti, Harral, & Sweeney, 2009).

Creativity and mania

The association between creativity and bipolar illness is an age-old controversy. Researchers have supported that people who [grammar?] born with bipolar disorder have at least one potential association of being creative. A study conducted to support the association between bipolar disorder and creativity[grammar?]. They examined the lives of 36 British and Irish poets born between the years 1705 and 1805. They found that half of the poets had mood disorder and about one-quarter were thought to have bipolar disorder (Rieger, 2015). Most recent study by Tramblay, Grosskoph and Yang (2010) looked at the creativity and bipolar disorder among occupation. People with bipolar disorder were found to have more creative occupation, for example musician, poet, and writer, than the general population.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Euphoric happiness and excitement is a positive emotion. It can undo life’s stress and negative emotions[factual?]. When people are happy and excited it broadens attention, thoughts, and behaviour[factual?]. In result it transforming people into healthy well-being [grammar?] (Reeve,2016).

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Anderson, I. B., Kim-Katz, S. Y., Dyer, J. E., & Blanc, P. D. (2010). The Impact of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) Legal Restirctions on Patterns of Use: Results from an International Survey. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 17(5), 455-469.

Aron, A., Fisher, H., Mashek, D. J., Strong, G., Li, H., & Brown, L. L. (2005). Reward, Motivation, and Emotion Systems Associated With Early-Stage Intense Romantic Love. Journal of Neurophysiology, 94(1), 327-337. doi: 10.1152/jn.00838.2004.

Bearn, J., & O'Brien, M. (2015). Addicted to Euphoria: The History, Clinical Presentation, and Management of Party Drug Misuse. International Review of Neurobiology, 120, 205-233.

Benovoy, M., Larcher, K., Dagher, A., Zatorre, R. J., & Salimpoor, V. N. (2011). Anatomically distinct dopamine release during aticipation and expeirnce of peak emotion to music. Nature Neuroscience, 14(2), 257-262.

Blum, K., Werner, T., Carnes, S., Carnes, P., Bowiratt, A., Giordano, J., et al. (2012). Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'N' Roll: Hypothesizing Common Mesolimbic Activation as a Function of Reward Gene Polymorhisms. Jounal of Psychoactive Drugs, 44(1), 38-55.

Cohen, E. E., Frey, R. E., Knight, N., & Dunbar, R. I. (2010). Rowers' high: behavioural synchrony is correlated with elavated pain thresholds. Biology Letters, 6, 106-108.

Dakis, C. A., & Gold, M. S. (1990). Addictiveness of cental stimulants. Advances in Alcohol and Substance Abuse, 9, 9-26.

Dinas, P. C., Koutedakis, Y., & Flouris, A. D. (2011). Effects of exercise and physical activity on depression. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 180, 319-325. doi: 10.1007/s11845-010-0633-9.

Georgiadis, J. R., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2012). The human sexual response cycle: Brain imaging evidence linking sex to other pleasures. Progress in Neurobiology, 49-81.

Koukopoulos, A., & Ghaemi, N. (2009). The primacy of mania: A reconsideration of mood disorders. European Psychiatry, 24(2), 125-134.

Littleton, J., & Little, H. (1994). Curent concepts of ethanol dependence. Addiction, 89(11), 1397-412.

Mahon, K., Burdick, K. E., & Szeszko, P. R. (2010). A role for white matter abnormalities in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. . Neuroscience & Behavoiural Reviews, 34(4), 533-554.

Mavridis, I. N. (2015). Music and nucleus accumbens. Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy, 37, 121-125.

Mirko, T., Ceci, R., Stefania, S., Catani, M. V., Rossi, A., Gasperi, V., et al. (2014). Physical activity and the endocannabinoid system: an overview. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 71, 2681-2698.

Pavuluri, M. N., Passarotti, A. M., Harral, E. M., & Sweeney, J. A. (2009). An fMRI study of the neural correlates of incidental versus directed emotion processing in pediatric bipolar disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 48(3), 308-319.

Peter, C., & Whybrow, M. D. (1997). A Mood APart: Depression, Mania, and Other Afflictions of the Self. NY: Division of Harper Colling. Reeve, J. M. (2015). Understanding Motivation and Emotion (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Rieger, E. (2015). Abnormanl Psychology . (3rd ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill Education.

Salimpoor, V. N., Bosch, I. V., Kovacevic, N., McIntosh, A. R., Dagher, A., & Jatorre, R. J. (2013). Interactions Between the Nucleus Accumbens and Auditory Cortices Predict Music Reward Value. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 340(6129), 216-219. doi: 10.1126/science.1231059.

Schep, L. J., Knudsen, K., Slaughter, R. J., Vale, J. A., & Megarbane, B. (2012). The clinical toxicology of y-hydroxybutyrate, y-butyrocactone and 1,4- butenadiol. Clinical Toxicology, 50(6), 458-470.

Seger, D. (2010). Cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA abuse: the role and clinical importance of neuroadaptation. Clinical Toxicology, 48, 695-708. doi: 10.3109/15563650.2010.516263.

Szabo, A., Billett, E., & Turner, J. (2001). Phenylethylamine, a possible link to the antidepressant effects of exercise? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 35, 342-343.

Tremblay, C. H., Grosskoph, S., & Yang, K. (2010). Brainstorm: Occupational choice, bipolar illness and creativity. Economics and Human Body, 8, 233-241.

Zarate, C. A., Singh, J. B., Carlson, P. J., Brutsche, N. E., Ameli, R., Luckenbaugh, D. A., et al. (2006). A randomized trial of an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist in treatment-resistant major depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63(8), 856-864.

Zeki, S. (2007). The neurobiology of love. Federation of European Biochemical Societies, 581, 2575-2579. doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2007.03.094.

External links[edit | edit source]