Ian Weinberg en Publishers & Bloggers, Social Media, English Developer and facilitator of neuro-coaching program. Neurosurgeon in practice • NeuroSurge - neuromodulation 16/11/2016 · 1 min de lectura · 2,1K

About Writers and their Neurochemistry

About Writers and their Neurochemistry

Underlying who we are, what we do and how we do it, is our neurochemistry. It makes for interesting cogitation (a big word for ‘reflection’ which I only recently learned) to analyse writers and their writing, based on two neurochemicals, dopamine and oxytocin.

Dopamine is the stuff underlying motivation, reward gratification, working memory (thought) and achievement. So the dopamine writer is one that derives reward gratification from the motivation to create something of value, then experiences the sense of achievement in the finished text. Thereafter comes the bigger dopamine kicker – the acknowledgement and praise by others - the accolades. So what I’ve written so far is a dopamine-driven piece. The dopamine surge will be completed if and when it’s ‘liked’ and appreciated. Thereafter the dopamine surge will drive me to repeat the process. Perhaps I’m adequately gratified just by creating the piece or perhaps I need the accolades. And if it’s for the accolades then maybe I’ll modify my style to suite the zeitgeist of the readership to get more accolades and gratification next time. But then there would be a potential threat to ultimate authenticity in this dopamine cycle.

And what of the oxytocin-driven writer? Oxytocin is secreted in association with empathy, sensitivity, gratitude, trust, belief and awe. And so the oxytocin writer produces a life narrative with the ingredients of these elements which we all share, but some writers are more versed in its expression than others. So the skilful oxytocin writer draws you into the narrative through resonation with the aforementioned elements. In so doing, your oxytocin levels rise through the triggering of your mirror neuron activity (don’t worry about this. I just put it in for completeness-sake!) ‘And there he was alone in the world. Around him, the devastation of what was. And it was at this low moment that ....’ Gotcha! Your oxytocin levels are bubbling in sympathy with the narrative.

The oxytocin writer derives dopamine gratification from creating the text as well as from the accolades. In addition however, the genuine oxytocin writer derives an oxytocin high from creating the good feeling of empathy, sensitivity, gratitude and awe in the readership. But oxytocin secretion and its reflective traits are contagious – it has a knock on effect. We all want to hug each other! Empathy and gratitude flow. It's a good thing - oxytocin promotes wellness. (For more on the wellness benefits of oxytocin, see https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ian-weinberg/evolution-and-empathy )

Maybe that’s why I appreciate beBee. It created space for us dopamine guys who have difficulty preparing the oxytocin stuff but who relish the great human oxytocin-driven posts written by the skilled, that regularly appear. Hell, I think I just wrote an oxytocin-promoting bit! Where there’s life there’s hope.

                                                            Copyright reserved - Ian Weinberg 2016

Irene Hackett Nov 18, 2016 · #9

Irene Hackett
Now · #8
Well there you have it, we are simply a bag of chemicals responding to one another's chemical reactions! I am not being sarcastic! It seems very logical and explains a lot - even if a bit reductionistic. I am very curious about the why - why does writing something of value or empathy produce these mysterious chemicals dopamine & oxytocin? Is it to promote & strengthen human interdependence? We don't know the answer, but your fantastic insight is very thought provoking. I appreciate your ability to make sense of the human condition from a neuroscientific perspective.

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Tony 🐝 Rossi Nov 18, 2016 · #7

Fascinating, Ian! I'm often in awe and overwhelmed by just how incredibly lucky we are to have this 3 lb organ in our skulls that dictates our bodies to build the world we see around us, and powers our unique souls. I'm sure I'm not the only one on here on a path of becoming a writer, and certainly don't know why, or what kind of writer I am - but that's only looking through the lens of genre. This view transcends topical classifications, and is quite comforting. Thanks!

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Lisa 🐝 Gallagher Nov 17, 2016 · #6

#4 @John White, MBA, I actually had to look at your profile because I thought someone was masquerading as you since you changed your photo haha. Love it.

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Lisa 🐝 Gallagher Nov 17, 2016 · #5

@Ian Weinberg, what an interesting article. This is the first time I've read a buzz which explains why there are differing writing styles in regards to chemical messengers produced. Thank you for sharing this!

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John White, MBA Nov 17, 2016 · #4

Thank you, Ian! I shared it to content writers.

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Kevin Pashuk Nov 16, 2016 · #3

Here's some dopamine for you Ian... I'm sharing this post.

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Randy Keho Nov 16, 2016 · #2

Perhaps, we need to market beBee as a pharmaceutical.

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Deb 🐝 Helfrich Nov 16, 2016 · #1

@Ian Weinberg this is a marvelous, fresh, and utterly astounding look at writing from the level of neurochemical secretion. You've explained so much. I mean, you've explained the meta-level of what is going on here and the various attitudes and why, ultimately, beBee will succeed. These facts might not fit into one of the 2 minute investment pitch decks, but I actually think @Javier beBee might see why his natural inclination to celebrate the positive is the disruption of beBee - we get to hug strangers virtually.

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