The Secret to Motivation eludes me – that’s obvious from all the research on motivation we’ve posted! I probably have a bit of attention deficit since I tend to swing wildly from interest to interest. Put that together with my reverence for octopuses I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. (jw)
People take it octopamine to keep focus and energy (like Ritalin, but weaker). It enhances motivation, alertness and focus, and stimulates fat loss while keeping muscle. It stimulates dopamine and norepinephrine and this may account for its effects. (This is how caffeine works).
An Italian scientist, Vittorrio Erspamer found octopamine in the salivary glands of the octopus, hence its name.
Octopamine is related to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. It comes from the amino acid Tyramine, which can be found in a wide array of foods such as liver and tomatoes. You can get it in supplements. Isolated, it is a stimulant and also burns fat.
However it may be that Octopamine prevents the breakdown of protein for energy, rather promoting fat burning for energy.
Octopamine has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because of its stimulatory properties. If you are sensitive to stimulants, or have high blood pressure, or a heart condition, don’t use Octopamine.
Fruit flies have been buzzing around my kitchen since I started recycling food waste for the environment. Yes, yes, I’m using a special container provided by the city but those pesky flies still try to get in. I can testify to their perseverance . . . and their ability to evade my swats.
Perseverance and grit are important to work toward goals. How do you stay motivated to do this? A team of researchers led by Technical University of Munich scientists have found one answer in the brain of a fruit fly. Yup, fruit flies are ambitious and they can teach me something about staying with a task.
The researchers set up the fruit flies so they would go after fruit that smelled, but was kept out of reach, while their little legs ran on balls which measured how fast they were running – how much effort they were making. The experiment showed that hungry fruit flies would continue increasing their speed, until they ran up to nine meters per minute. Fruit flies who had eaten would stop more quickly than the hungry flies.
Staying with it
The researchers identified a neural circuit in the flies that appears to cause this perseverance. We humans have a million times more neurons than the flies have which makes it easier to figure out what each neuron does. With the help of electron microscopy, the neural circuit was identified.This circuit is located in the learning and memory center of the fly brain. Two neurotransmitters, dopamine and octopamine, (similar to noradrenaline in humans) regulate the circuit. Dopamine increases increases motivation; octopamine reduces it.
It turns out that theses same chemicals are in the brains of people and scientists think they also regulate motivation.
It turns out that my own neural circuits are motivating me to rid my kitchen of fruit flies.
“A Neural Circuit Arbitrates between Persistence and Withdrawal in Hungry Drosophila”. Sercan Sayin, Jean-Francois De Backer, K.P. Siju, Marina E. Wosniack, Laurence P. Lewis, Lisa-Marie Frisch, Benedikt Gansen, Philipp Schlegel, Amelia Edmondson-Stait, Nadiya Sharifi, Corey B. Fisher, Steven A. Calle-Schuler, J. Scott Lauritzen, Davi D. Bock, Marta Costa, Gregory S.X.E. Jefferis, Julijana Gjorgjieva, Ilona C. Grunwald Kadow.