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Chelsey’s Neurotransmitter Tattoos

“Is that dopamine on your leg or are you just… happy?”

The owner of the geeky chemistry tattoo, Chelsey, explains:

This tattoo is of two very important molecules in your body: dopamine and serotonin.  Dopamine is on the top and serotonin is on the bottom.  Dopamine is mostly in your brain and when it is increased, it makes you happy.  Serotonin also makes you happy but is found mostly in your gut.  I like this tattoo because it perfect portrays a cross between hard science and philosophy (hence the combatting molecules of mind and body, comparing that with Descartes’ mind/body dualism). I am a psychology major with a minor in biology and chemistry.

Posted in Biology, Chemistry, Science, Tattoos.

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9 Responses

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  1. Michael says

    She looks like Alyson Hannigan, and so therefore, I am in love.

  2. drew says

    She kinda got them wrong. there's an OH group, an NH2, and one of the carbons should be a nitrogen in serotonin.

    • Dave says

      lol, right. thanks its not for life..
      shit it is.

  3. sarah says

    really cute idea and tatto i love it. but im confused about her explaination of catesian dualism, for in his therory mind and body and completey distinct, and the union isnt physical nor mental?

  4. Ryan says

    Yeah, the structures are wrong on both molecules.

  5. Chels says

    I decided to leave the bond symbols out for simplicity actually. I’m very positive the structures are right :)

  6. Fraser says

    Beautiful! Tats not bad either.

  7. derk says

    Serotonin is actually much more responsible for peristalsis and reverse peristalsis than for having any effect on your emotions. But really, it comes down to what receptor it attaches to, not what neurotransmitter is released. So if you wanted to be accurate with your tattoo, you should have gotten the receptors associated with happiness rather than the neurotransmitters associated with happiness and dozens of other activities in the body.

  8. Jaime says

    As someone currently doing a chemical study on dopamine for the past few weeks, the bonds are correct but the atoms are not. By leaving them out for simplicity it looks like you have phenylpropyl not dopamine. No ones going to know that’s dopamine that knows anything about chemistry or them in general. Only came across this because I plan on getting epinephrine and dopamine tats on each calf.