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The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good
 
 
Author
David J. Linden.
Publisher Viking  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9780670022588
Pages/Publication Date 230/2011
Daedalus Item Code 41946
List Price: $26.95
Sale Price: $4.98
You Save: $21.97
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Description
Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal, posits Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David Linden; here he explains just how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level of brain activity. Why are drugs like nicotine and heroin addictive while LSD is not? Why has the search for safe appetite suppressants been such a disappointment? As he did in The Accidental Mind—winner of a Silver Medal at the Independent Publisher's Book Awards—Linden combines new scientific research with entertaining anecdotes to illuminate the source of the behaviors that can lead us to ecstasy but that can easily become compulsive. He concludes with a provocative consideration of pleasure in the future, when it may be possible to activate our pleasure circuits at will and in entirely new ways.

"Linden is admirable at explaining complex scientific concepts for the nonspecialist. He focuses most of his attention on the role played by the small portion of our gray matter known as the medial forebrain pleasure circuit and demonstrates how both behavior and chemistry can activate its neurons. He also discusses the somewhat counterintuitive conclusion that addiction is often associated with decreased pleasure. Linden's conversational style, his abundant use of anecdotes, and his successful coupling of wit with insight makes the book a joy to read. Even the footnotes are sprinkled with hidden gems."—Publishers Weekly

 
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