Dopamine nation and the neuroscience of addiction

April 22, 2023Den Grå Hal Copenhagen
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Doors open: 19:00
Start programme: 19:45
Den Grå Hal
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Science & Cocktails in X31 is a series of few special events held at Den Grå Hal. For this first event of the series, Science & Cocktails is proud to present an episode "DOPAMINE NATION: A Neuroscience-Informed Approach to Compulsive Overconsumption in a Reward-Overloaded World" with Anna Lembke, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She is the author of Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence and featured recently in the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma. She will take you on a tour through the neuroscience of addiction, just after Basker Hval takes the stage and fills it with electronic dark synth.

Seated tickets are paid. Standing is free and you don't need a ticket, entrance is on a first-come, first-served basis.

What is the neuroscience of pleasure and pain and what happens in the brain as we become addicted? What happens when we are repeatedly exposed to drugs of all kinds? What is the effect of dopamine? Can intentionally engaging in pain/discomfort improve mood and well-being?

This is a time of unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli: drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting... The increased numbers, variety, and potency are staggering. As such, we’ve all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption. Yet, it is possible to find contentment and connectedness by keeping dopamine in check.

In this talk, Professor Anna Lembke will provide a practical, science-informed approach to addressing compulsive overconsumption of everything from food, to sex, to video games. Q&A will follow Dr. Lembke’s presentation.

Event held in English with the generous support of the Lundbeck Foundation and the Brain Prize.


  • 19:00–   19:30
    Doors open for cocktails
  • 19:30–   20:15
    Basker Hval– 
  • 20:45–   21:45
    Anna Lembke– 
  • 21:45–   23:55
    Georgie and Rune "Cry Tough"– DJ

Talk by

Anna Lembke

Anna Lembke, MD is professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. A clinician scholar, she is the author of more than a hundred peer-reviewed publications, has testified before the United States House of Representatives and Senate, has served as an expert witness in federal and state opioid litigation, and is an internationally recognized leader in addiction medicine treatment and education. In 2016, she published Drug Dealer, MD – How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), highlighted in the New York Times as one of the top five books to read to understand the opioid epidemic (Zuger, 2018).

Dr. Lembke appeared in the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, an unvarnished look at the impact of social media on our lives. Her latest book, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence (Dutton/Penguin Random House, August 2021) was an instant New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller and explores how to moderate compulsive overconsumption in a dopamine-overloaded world.

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Music by

Basker Hval

With inspiration from the film and the game industry grandiose storytelling Basker Hval's musical DNA consists of one further development away from the retro aesthetics known from acts such as Carpenter Brut, Pertubator and Dance With the Dead.

Basker Hval is drummer Mikkel Aksglæde's solo project. He is educated from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen and has previously played with e.g. Aksglæde, The Oceans and Kara Moon. As a live act, Basker Hval performs with three musicians who armed with synthesizers, bass and drums move and capture the audience with their hard hitting attitude.

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Live act by

Georgie and Rune "Cry Tough"

Georgie, originally from Barcelona but currently living in Copenhagen, is a vinyl DJ who loves to fill her record case with 50s and 60s Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Boogaloo and Rock & Roll. Co-founder of the recently established “Sweet & Rowdy”, the club focuses on inviting local and international female vinyl DJs, playing vintage sounds, from the 50s to the 70s.

Rune “Cry Tough”, based in Copenhagen, has been djing for more than 10 years and has traveled all around Europe playing his broad collection of 50s and 60s Caribbean music. Rune is part of the collective Cry Tough Sound, organizers of the club Downbeat Impact and the Scandinavian Ska Festival.

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