Stressen of relaxen: neurochemische aspecten van bedrijvigheid en rust | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0921-5077
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7235


To stress or relax: neurochemical aspects of activity and rest

To stress or relax: neurochemical aspects of activity and rest

M. Tops, M.M. Lorist, A.A. Wijers & T.F. Meijman, Gedrag & Organisatie, volume 17, February 2004, nr. 1, pp. 32-42.

In this paper we formulate ideas about acute and chronic fatigue (especially burnout) in terms of brain neuromodulator functions. We describe dopaminergic, serotonergic and norepinephrinergic functions in energy expenditure and their role in the initiation and maintenance of behavior. We specifically focus on a dopaminergic approach-system, since there is accumulating evidence that dopaminergic systems play a central role in the symptomotology of fatigue. We argue that many symptoms of both acute fatigue and burnout can be seen as reflecting a decreased approach-motivation. Within the neuromodulator framework we propose two possible mechanisms for the development of burnout. We hope that our attempt to offer a physiological substrate for psychological ideas concerning fatigue and burnout will lead to new insights at a more applied level.


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