Archive for June 19, 2008
Source: Scientific American’s No Fair! My Serotonin Level Is Low
In the last post, we found out that serotonin controls appetite and metabolism. In fact, 80% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. But the neurotransmitter has many more functions, including roles in depression, anger, sleep, etc. Now the scientists have discovered that it can also affect the perception of fairness.
The subjects in the experiment are offered an amount of money that has been unevenly split. Normally, people would reject lowball offers like 20% or 30% of the money. When the subjects are depleted of serotonin, they turn down even 80% of the money, indicating that their judgement of fairness is seriously skewed.
Serotonin influences so many emotions that it is difficult to pinpoint a single function to study. It is amazing how a small chemical can affect our body, mind, and life.