The Molecule of More

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

Interesting read. I wouldn’t recommend for my class because they are primary grades but definitely interesting.
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This book is entertaining and informative. I think it's an engaging book even for those who don't usually read science books because it has a much easier digestible tone. The Molecule of More dives into how dopamine affects our lives and almost every single desition we make but certainly the bigger ones. I think this book can help anyone understand more about human behavior and about ourselveles as well in a deeper level and even help handle high stakes situtations better.
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In his book on The Molecule of More, Lieberman explains the power of dopamine to shape our lives. He explains how this chemical neurotransmitter affects our mood as well as our ambition as it gives us an expectation of rewards aplenty. Our first big casino win or our first high from amphetamine can cause a craving to repeat that first experience, an impossible feat rendered by the dark side of dopamine. Lieberman explains that in life the lure of dopamine doesn't make for a successful long-term relationship. The expectations and promise of what might be are as ethereal as our chances of winning millions playing Powerball.
With examples easy to follow, such as Mick Jagger's pursuit of Satisfaction after countless encounters, readers can connect the dots easily and see why understanding the role of dopamine is important as we wade our way through life. 
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This was such an interesting book to read. Lieberman combines the fields of chemistry, biology, and psychology and gives us an in-depth look at how the chemical dopamine is produced and what it does in the human body. While it is packed with a lot of data, the book isn't weighed down by it and I learned so many neat things about how the body is affected by this "chemical of desire." *Advanced copy provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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This book provides a lively, fascinating discussion of how dopamine and other neurotransmitters affect human behavior. It’s a well-organized, relatively easy read and a genuinely fun way to learn about neuroscience that should appeal to a wide audience.

I found the chapter on politics particularly surprising and thought provoking and felt like it gave me a better understanding of people with differing political inclinations. This material was presented in a balanced and objective manner. The authors’ theories about the role of genes associated with dopaminergic personalities and bipolar disorder in human migration was also intriguing.

While much of the content was simply interesting to learn about, there were a few practical suggestions for how to be happier by balancing dopamine with the neurotransmitters that promote enjoying the here and now. One such tip: engage in more activities that combine creativity or intellectual stimulation with physical activity, such as woodworking, knitting, painting, making music, cooking, gardening, or sports.

The authors discuss many scientific studies throughout the text, and they provide generous references at the end of each chapter. An index is also included at the end of the book.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in neuroscience and some of its applications in understanding relationships, politics, economics, addictions, creativity, and other aspects of human behavior.

I was provided an ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review. Because I have not seen the final published version, I cannot comment on the final editing and formatting; however, the ARC was already well edited and neatly formatted.
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I didn't enjoy this book at all. To many insertions of stories and to many boxeof non-scientific information.. Next time, more science and less other content. After plowing through all of the surplusage I did learn a lot about the molecule of more and how it works. Thus, two stars instead of just one.
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Engrossing exploration of neurotransmitters and behavior.

Neurobiology is a discipline that has interested me for years.  Apparently, research on dopamine frames its importance in human behavior, because we are the known species with greater segregation of this chemical and therefore significantly defines certain behaviors. The authors distinguish how our brain uses certain "Here & Now neurotransmitters" to be empathetic, to bond emotionally in the long term and connect better with our emotions and the present moment. And on the other hand, how dopamine drives intelligence, imagination and creativity, participates in the pursuit of future goals, desires and dreams, keeps us motivated even to work hard to maximize future resources, and by suppressing the H&N emotion allows us to keep “cool head" in chaotic situations.

Very interestingly the authors explain that the "dopamine desire circuit" can lead us to evade reality, the use of force, fraud, and on the other hand the use of some very addictive substances because they cause the euphoria dopaminergic and self-efficacy efects. It is therefore important to mature the "dopamine control circuit" and develop the H&N circuit to balance and readjust consequences of alternate choices. I could not stop reading the Domination chapter, in which ADHD is mentioned as a result of dopamine weak control.  Also, they indicate the existence of a genetic component of a dopaminergic character, characterized by excessive dopamine in the desire circuit, related with creative geniuses and also with schizophrenia and other mental illness.

As an educator, facilitator and coach, to better understand these neural circuits and the associated behaviors has been very useful and of great importance to have a neuroscientific basis of the specific problems that my clients face.  The "dopamine desire circuit" promotes behaviours that can hijack an endless cycle of "Do to have", fall prey to our own endless desires, addicted to achievement without being able to experience fulfillment.  In addition, I think this may partly explain the increasing rate of depression and loneliness at epidemic levels in America.

Therefore, it is fundamental to mature and develop the "control circuit" in order to manage between both circuits and give balance to our lives. One of the activities that has helped me balance my dopaminergenic and my clients' abilities is the art therapy and developing our natural capacity for mindfulness, self-knowledge, enjoy what we do and create, value what we are and have, strengthen our bonds.  Some ways to balance the dopaminergic dominance in synergy with the H&N circuit proposed by the authors is creativity combined with sensory experience, for example handicrafts (Waldorf education includes many of these activities for the development of children), coloring books, making music, cooking, gardening, playing sports. "It takes both dopamine and H&N to attain happiness, ... a mixture that can set us down the path to a more balanced way of being human".
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A fascinating look at how dopamine affects your brain. Really interesting! 

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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A big thank you to NetGalley and BenBella Books for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

WELL. Ever since I got this ARC and started reading it a few months ago, it's been an experience of slowly falling more and more in love with everything that learning more about dopamine and our brains can give us. As a teacher, I've mentioned things I've learned from the books to my students more times than I can count, and my fascination with it must have really shined through, because I've watched many of them scribble the title on their notebooks to check out later. 

I cannot recommend this book enough. Backed with a lot of research and transparency, THE MOLECULE OF MORE makes for an accessible take on brain science. A must-read for everyone, and I'll definitely reread many times.
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I'm a teacher from a family of teachers and scientists whose interests cross paths on books like these. Suffice it to say, I've read a lot of popular science books. There are usually three questions to keep in mind when reading this type of book: 
1. Is the book an engaging read? For this, I'd give the book an A+. It is an extremely quick and smooth read, and I love the hypothetical stories woven in that illustrate the concepts.
2. Is the book actionable? Does it actually change the reader's behavior? A+ This is easily one of the most actionable books I've ever read. The authors make a good case for the fact that knowing about dopamine should be able to help you with everything from your diet to your relationships to, if you're lucky, turning the dopamine down a little and using those "here and now" brain chemicals to enjoy moments with your kids. All of those have actually happened, which really helps this book rise above the average book in its category.
3. Does the book actually capture the science and research that is out there? For this, I have mixed feelings that average out to a B. On the dopamine-related research, it's still an A+. But when other types of research and stats are brought in, it felt like the authors reached a bit too far to draw conclusions. This was especially true when talking about political differences. Not sure the "conservatives" cheering on Trump's immigration policies have any overlap with the church groups handing out food and water to immigrants crossing the border.
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The following is an excerpt from the book. This is how Dopamine is introduced to the reader:

"It is fuel for the motor of our dreams; it is the source of our despair when we fail. It is why we seek and succeed; it is why we discover and prosper. It is also why we are never happy for very long.
"To your brain, this single molecule is the ultimate multipurpose device, urging us, through thousands of neurochemical processes, to move beyond the pleasure of just being, into exploring the universe of possibilities that come when we imagine."

An engaging and informative book, it explains the role of dopamine in our behaviour. It gives a fantastic look on this molecule.

Highly recommended.
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A fascinating look at how dopamine fuels our brain and motivates us to do things, while looking at the way having a balanced brain can bring us more happiness and contentment. 

Every time I'd pick up my phone while I read this, I'd think to myself, "Time for some dopamine," and when I'd sit down to read with one of my kids, I'd think, "Here and Now time." The ideas presented in this book definitely worked their ways into my daily life!
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This is a highly recommended book for people who wants to know more about what dopamine does in our brain. I really love the first part where the author described a boy-girl relationship, how it started and ended, and how dopamine plays a part in their brains throughout the relationship. The next few chapters may not be as catchy in terms of using analogy but this does not discount the weight of the content. There were experiments describing how dopamine and other neurotransmitters work in our body and I'm intrigued with the dream part. I tried the experiment about the dream, how thinking of a problem can help solve through dreams in the night, but it didn't work for me. I shared this with my friends and it worked for them. So I guess I just conducted the experiment myself! Anyway, I enjoy this book a lot. I am better informed now!
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This is a very interesting book on how just one chemical – Dopamine influences so much of our behaviour. The undue influence Dopamine exerts is amazing considering the fraction the Dopamine circuit occupies in our brains. This is a well written book and very informative as well.

The crux of our behaviour boils down to two outlooks we humans have – here & now matters (which the authors refer to as the H&N circuit) and the future (our desires and actions). Dopamine is largely what determines how we approach the future – high dopamine defining the drive. Dopamine circuits are in two categories – ones which determine our desires and the other which exerts control over our actions. 

Responsible action is a delicate balance – excessive dopamine activity can become impractical and is speculated at times even lead to mental illnesses. The influence of Dopamine on politics, sex, relationships, emotions, political affiliations, religion and business is all discussed in a good amount of detail.

This is a book I certainly recommend, though it could have been crisper in the early and middle portions.

My rating: 4.5 / 5.
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The weakest part of this book was the first 3 chapters or so, and multiple times I considered abandoning it, but I'm glad I didn't.  Each chapter has a hypothetical story to pull it together and give examples of the dopamine-related behavior Lieberman is talking about in that chapter.  The story in chapter 1 is made-me-wanna-gag cheesy.  Chapters 2 and 3 feel unrealistic and then even sometimes self-contradictory.  But it got better later.

The best chapters are the ones on creativity and politics, in which he makes the case that dopamine gives us the character traits that make us so tribal.  It's super interesting.  And like most theses that are this simple, probably not wholly correct.  But he does make a very convincing case that dopamine is at least a player in the game.  And the later chapters are much better written somehow, as if once he relaxed and wasn't worried about grabbing my attention he actually got my attention.

So as for determining the fate of the human race, eh, that's a stretch, but it's worth reading his argument.  He also has sections in which he indicated how he could activate our dopamine activity, but mostly he's making a case that we need to be aware of the plusses and minuses of dopamine and develop our brain chemicals that value what we have (oxytocin is among these) to survive in the long term.  Very thought and conversation provoking.

I got a copy to review from Net Galley.
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Thank you to NetGalley, BenBella Books, Daniel Z. Lieberman and Michael E. Long for an ebook copy for review. As always, an honest review from me.

I learned so much from this book. It was absolutely fascinating!

We’ve all heard about dopamine. It interacts with the reward centers in the brain and explains why we keep seeking more and more. Even when we’re already happy. I learned even more about dopamine and the role it plays in so many more experience than I realized. From solving problems and dreaming, struggles in relationships, political affiliations, and even from an evolutionary standpoint.

The beginning was more an explanation of how dopamine functions and the role in the brain. It was a necessary foundation, but not particularly fascinating. The rest of the chapters were much more interesting. However I didn’t completely agree with everything. Neurotransmitters definitely play a role in human behavior. The studies even prove it. But there is some element of human choice that the book doesn’t discuss. We’re human beings and not just a bunch of chemicals and electrical activity.

Overall, a fascinating look at the role dopamine has on human behavior. Learned a lot and even found myself stopping to read aloud interesting passages to the people around me.
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I really enjoyed this book. I think the combination of scientific explanation, case studies/examples, and illustrations makes it highly accessible to someone who doesn’t necessarily have a lot of experience with more scientific texts. I also really like the way the book is divided into different categories of objects/items that humans might desire to talk about the way dopamine and neurology shape our urges. I will very likely use this text.
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The Molecule of More by Daniel Z. Lieberman is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July.

The molecule of the title is considered to be nature dopamine within the brain.  Lieberman thrusts readers right into the fray and offers good empathy and commonalty (rather than an overload of scientific/neurological terms) through the use of many parables and case study examples. 
Dopamine is defined as surging in the reward pathways through the brain, firing in anticipation and receiving reward (food, drugs, love, games of chance, pleasure), but working in confluence with other systems in the body to decide between what we like, want, need, strive for, and biologically require.  Amid topics like drug use overriding the dopamine system to prioritize a drug over everything else, synthetic dopamine being used to temper the symptoms of Parkinson's, a sense of calm and placation that it offers as annoyingly getting in the way of completing goals or helpfully coming between yourself and crisis, dopamine shutdown (or unfulfillment) leading to guilt and deprivation, and the pleasure principal theory between political parties, it comes around to finding peace and a personal balance with the flow of dopamine (like working with it in moderation and staying busy, instead of against it with prohibition).
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This book has to be the authority on dopamine and how it influences human behavior for the mainstream public. Learning about the difference between dopamine and the here and now (H&N) molecules was eye opening. The difference being one (dopamine) is all about the future and is never satisfied, hence the name of the book, and the others (H&N) are all about being present and fulfilled in the moment. We need both to survive and thrive. The authors do a great job of giving practical stories on how these molecules influence us day to day and over the long haul. The authors give credit to a textbook called the Dopaminergic Mind at the beginning of their book which I have ordered. I also listened to their interview on the Art of Manliness podcast which I would recommend giving a listen as a great primer before reading their book.
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This is a very interesting book about dopamine and all the different ways it affects our brain and so our behavior also. Many of the things written here are already well known, and not only to me, but there where some interesting connections made by the author  between dopamine and personality, and then creativity and genius that were particularly illuminating. The best thing is that the book is easily written and gives a lot of examples.

Questo é un libro molto interessante che parla di dopamina e di tutti i molteplici modi in cui influisce sul nostro cervello e quindi sul nostro comportamento. Molte delle cose qui scritte sono note da tempo e non solo a me, ma ci sono alcune interessanti connessioni fatte dagli autori tra la dopamina e la personalitá, la creativitá e il genio che ho trovato particolarmente illuminanti. La caratteristica migliore del libro comunque, risiede nel fatto che é scritto in modo chiaro e semplice e fornisce un sacco di esempi.

THANKS NETGALLEY FOR THE PREVIEW!
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