Serotonin and the sense of well-being from art objects

Mostly we ignore ourselves, I read recently that people who get cochlear implants as adults (to enable hearing), have enormous difficulty tuning out the deafening sound of their own heartbeat. We’ve trained our brain to ignore it.

Do we pay attention to our mood and odd factors that affect our appetite, ability to sleep, memory and general sense of well-being? Serotonin is at the root of this, we all know anti-depressants are ‘serotonin reuptake inhibitors’ – meaning they slow the rate of deterioration and keep serotonin in the system longer. Although there is more doubt that these actually work outside severely depressed individuals. Nonetheless, we’ve heard of Serotonin.

Interestingly Serotonin is mostly found in our gut. While Serotonin is a neuro-transmitter it’s not in our brain, 80% is in our gastro-intestinal tract. The production of Serotonin is shockingly complex – connected to not just body chemistry, but food intake, with an inverse relationship to other neurotransmitters, like Dopamine. But the release of Serotonin seems to be triggered by positive events, such as finding food and eating it. I’m hunting for the connection of Serotonin to art, and the biological urge to find comfort in visual objects. Is Serotonin released when we find art objects or ideas we like?