Dopamine seems to be really, really important for all sorts of self-directed activities, ranging from boost/drive to memory, planning, and attention. Specifically:
DA ( dopaminergic modulation ) plays a highly important role in higher order motor control, goal-directed behavior, motivation, reinforcement learning, and a number of cognitive and executive functions such as working memory, planning, attention, behavioral and cognitive flexibility, inhibition of impulsive responses, and time perception (Schultz, 1998, Nieoullon, 2003, Goldman-Rakic, 2008, Dalley and Everitt, 2009). DA's fundamental part in learning, cognitive, and motor control is also reflected in the various serious nervous system diseases associated with impaired DA regulation, such as Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Huntington’s disease, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and addictions (Meyer-Lindenberg, 2010, Egan and Weinberger, 1997, Dalley and Everitt, 2009).
[ref: http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Models_of_dopaminergic_modulation ]
I've been attempting to capture both times/dates of noticable dopamine uptake (using the "how do you feel? Have you notice any qualia of dopamine? -prompts every hour; and also writing down major activities to do reductionalism to the causality chain), but it is a woefully primitive method to capture data. Specifically, it is insensitive to all sorts of things I'm desensitized to, and hence note only in absence.
In what ways might we capture cheaply/quickly/accurately daily fluctuations of DA, or serotonin, so that we can figure out ways to self-balance it via changes in daily routine?