How Excess Dopamine Makes Hallucinations and Is Related to Schizophrenia? – Dopamine has many functions for the body, which when excess can trigger hallucinations that are symptoms of schizophrenia.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain.

quote Medical News Today, Dopamine functions as a chemical signal to identify and coordinate certain types of nerve cells throughout the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.

When a neurotransmitter reaches the target cell, it attaches to a specific receptor and triggers a specific action within the cell.

The brain releases dopamine in response to all kinds of rewards and during pleasurable activities.

Dopamine can play a role in motivation, desire, and desire. It also plays a role in muscle movement, mood, and decision making.

quote Verywell HealthOne of the consequences of excess dopamine is that it can cause hallucinations.

Definition of hallucinations

Hallucinations are sensory experiences that appear real, but are created by our own minds.

quote Healthline, hallucinatory symptoms can be caused by mental illness, a side effect of medication, or a physical illness, such as epilepsy or an alcohol use disorder.

For example, hearing a voice that no one else in the room can hear or seeing an image that isn’t real.

Types of hallucinations

quote Healthline, hallucinations can affect the five human senses, namely visual, olfactory, gustatory, auditory, and tactile.

Visual hallucinations involve seeing things that are not there. Hallucinations can be objects, visual patterns, people, or lights.

For example, the individual may see someone who is not in the room or a flashing light that no one else can see.

Olfactory hallucinations involve the human sense of smell.

Individuals may smell an unpleasant odor when they wake up in the middle of the night or feel that their body is emitting certain odors when they are not.

This type of hallucination can also include smells that a person finds pleasant, such as the smell of flowers.

Gustatory hallucinations are similar to olfactory hallucinations, but they involve the sense of taste, not smell.

The taste to be tasted is often strange or unpleasant, such as a metallic taste.

Gustatory hallucinations are a relatively common symptom for people with epilepsy.

Auditory hallucinations are one of the most common types of hallucinations.

A person may hear someone else talking to him or telling him to do certain things. The voice may be angry, neutral, or warm.

Other examples of this type of hallucination include hearing movement sounds, such as someone walking in an attic or repeated clicking or knocking sounds.

Tactile hallucinations involve feelings of touch or movement in the body.

For example, a person may feel that insects are crawling on his skin or that his internal organs are moving.

You may also feel someone touching your body.


In one study the occurrence of hallucinations associated with excessive dopamine production in a person’s brain.

Meanwhile, hallucinations are one of the striking symptoms in people with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that can cause disturbances in thought processes, perceptions, emotional responses, and social interactions.

quote Medical News TodaySchizophrenia often appears in adolescence towards adulthood or early adulthood.

quote Science Daily, some researchers have found that increased levels of dopamine can make some people rely more on expectations, which can then lead to hallucinations.

The findings are the result of a study of a number of schizophrenic patients conducted by researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI).

“Our brains use previous experiences to generate sensory expectations that help fill in gaps when sound or images are distorted or unclear,” says Guillermo Horga, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at CUIMC and research psychiatrist at NYSPI.

But in individuals with schizophrenia, he continued, the process is altered and leads to extreme perceptual distortions.

For example, the person may hallucinate as if hearing a sound that is not really there.

Furthermore, while such hallucinations are often successfully treated with antipsychotic drugs that block the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain structure known as the striatum.

The researchers also conducted experiments that induced auditory illusions in a number of healthy people and people with schizophrenia.

They researched how building or breaking sensory expectations could change the power of these illusions.

They also measured dopamine release before and after administration of drugs that stimulate dopamine release.

“Everyone has some perceptual distortion, but these results suggest that excess dopamine can exacerbate our distorted perceptions,” says Dr Horga.

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