Natalia Braun, MSc
Pseudo-neuroscience that could harm in distress: dopamine fasting for "resetting the brain"
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
One of the latest crazes of pseudo-neuroscience: dopamine fasting for resetting the brain and becoming more effective. From a neuroscience perspective, "resetting the brain" is a pure nonsense. Besides, dopamine is crucial in responding to chronic stressors and developing resilience, whereas its lack leads to the anxiety-related behaviours as an insightful study conducted on wild songbirds showed. In order to reduce unhealthy behaviours that harm physical or mental health, you need to remove the cues that trigger these behaviours instead of an artificial "reset", which is falsely compared to meditation. Dopamine fasting won't help you to become more effective but could be even dangerous if taken to the extreme. This article in The Conversation by Dr. Ciara McCabe provides an excellent expert analysis to this fad.