While the differences are that while hormones are produced by the endocrine system in our body neurotransmitters are created at nerve terminals and they need to be triggered by an electrical impulse sent by the brain. Hormones have to be secreted directly into the bloodstream since they can only travel short distances where the neurotransmitters are secreted at the nerve synapse. The hormones can be synthesized artificially outside the body and neurotransmitters have to make inside the body.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure centers which also helps to regulate emotions and movement. It functions to help us see pleasurable things and also attracts us towards them. Drugs like cocaine affect the dopamine in the brain and make it work better and faster so people get addicted to the sensation of being drugged.
The association cortex is the cerebral cortex located outside the primary areas of the brain and it is needed to perform essential mental tasks that are more complicated than the detection of dimensions of sensory stimulation. In the animal kingdom, the cerebral cortex is more developed in the humans than any other species since it is absolutely necessary for perceptual activities like recognizing and understanding the differences in objects rather than edges or color. Repeated drug abuse causes damage in the association cortex which tends to signal the brain to produce a ‘happy sensation’ with drug abuse. Most of the time, the people may not be technically addicted to the drug itself however the emotional response that it produces brings pleasure to the body and mind. Since the cortex is damaged by substance abuse, the ‘happy’ sensation is not produced until the drug is taken so it makes the user vulnerable. These responses can be produced by narcotics, heroin and cocaine and alcohol.
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