And yet there's talk of research in this article that I find a bit confusing. She says dopamine has lately been shown not to be a reward chemical but one that encourages one to seek out rewards through exploration.
This begs the question: what happens when you get to the reward? Well, when you finish exploration and get bored with the novel thing -- Piaget's "habituation" phase -- your dopamine levels retreat. So less dopamine is the reward of a satisfied curiosity, a state of contentment and superiority rather than excitement. Really? Boredom is the reward? This lack of excitement makes us want to go out and explore... but doesn't that make the lack of dopamine a motivator? If the motivational switch is turned on by novelty, why do we spend so much time seeking it out? It seems to me the line between a reward vs. a motivator drawn here is a little bit fine.