Dopamine, the Thermometer and Thermostat of Value

Reward Prediction Error vs Incentive Salience Credit: Wiley

A 2017 article in Scientific American Mind by Maia Szalavitz proposes that associating pleasure with the neurotransmitter dopamine, which plays an essential role in movement and motivation, may be a misunderstanding. Instead, neuroscientist Wolfram Schultz, MD, of the University of Cambridge sees dopamine serving as a standard currency system for desire.