What if our emotions and behaviors, such as kindness, could be influenced by simply taking a pill? Researchers have looked at how chemicals in the brain could be manipulated to affect social interaction in a new study.
People can become more compassionate and even act in a more giving manner socially by manipulating a brain chemical, according to researchers at University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco and published in the journal Current Biology.
For the study, researchers tested at 35 men and women who were either given a pill with levels of dopamine or a placebo. Dopamine is a hormone that plays a role in cognition and reward-motivated behavior.
The participants were asked to split an amount of money between themselves and a stranger and found that those who took the dopamine drug were more likely to share the money fairly and equally compared to those who took the placebo.
The results have led the researchers to believe that behaviors like social interaction could be affected by changing basic biological systems in the brain.