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Dopamine

PositiveTip for

Genetic Symphony

Listening to classical music regularly may give you a genetic advantage.

Finnish researchers examined the effects of classical music on the brain at the molecular level on both musically experienced (48) and inexperienced (15) people. Genetic activity increased for the "feel-good" hormone dopamine, as well as genes involved in memory, learning and synaptic activity. Genes associated with neuro-degeneration were less active. Only musically experienced participants exhibited these effects. 

PositiveTip: Get "musically experienced" and regularly enjoy classical music for both genetic and mental health benefits. You can start with the Mozart concerto used by researchers. 

PositiveTip for

Addiction: Rich Foods

Reprogram your brain's reward centers to love healthy food by restricting access to fatty foods.

One study found that when rats were given unrestricted access to tasty, calorie-rich food they ate twice as much and gained substantial weight.

Measurements in their brains indicated that the threshold for experiencing reward was elevated (in other words, they worked harder for the brain stimulus) and their overeating was not diminished by electrical shock to their feet. Eating too much rich food seems to trigger addiction-like responses in the brain circuits and most likely causes the development of compulsive eating habits. 

PositiveTip: In humans, restricted access to fattening foods for prolonged periods can help the brain reactivate its reward centers to respond to healthier foods.