The Compass of Pleasure by David J. Linden

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Synopsis

A leading brain scientist's look at the neurobiology of pleasure-and how pleasures can become addictions.

Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain.

As he did in his award-winning book, The Accidental Mind, Linden combines cutting-edge science with entertaining anecdotes to illuminate the source of the behaviors that can lead us to ecstasy but that can easily become compulsive. Why are drugs like nicotine and heroin addictive while LSD is not? Why has the search for safe appetite suppressants been such a disappointment? The Compass of Pleasure 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 novel patterns.
 

About David J. Linden

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DAVID J. LINDEN is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The author of more than ninety scientific papers, he also serves as the editor in chief of The Journal of Neurophysiology. His work has received awards from the Sloan, McKnight and Klingenstein Foundations as well as those of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Society for Neuroscience He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
Published April 14, 2011 by Penguin Books. 240 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Compass of Pleasure

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(Cocaine and other drugs block this re-uptake, flooding the circuitry with dopamine to increase the “high.”) Linden details brain-imaging experiments which indicate that the VTA is activated not only to aid human survival by affording the pleasures of eating and the joys of sex, but also in conne...

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Compass of Pleasure

Publishers Weekly

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By merging an evolutionary perspective with cutting-edge research in neuroscience, Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, addresses provocative questions about the relationship between pleasure and addiction while exploring many of the broader implicat...

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Compass of Pleasure

Kirkus Reviews

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After plumbing the depths of the human brain in The Accidental Mind, neuroscientist David Linden hits the pleasure button in his latest, The Compass of Pleasure.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Compass of Pleasure

Examiner

His most recent book, “The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good,” talks about blunted pleasure circuits in the brain affect pleasure-seeking activities and that people with blunted dopamine system...

Jun 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Compass of Pleasure

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, and the author of The Accidental Mind, adds to this emerging, solipsistic genre with The Compass of Pleasure, a book that focuses entirely on how our brains pursue and process pleasure.

Jun 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Compass of Pleasure

Artswrap

James David Bowie is - Victoria & Albert Museum - 2013 Barocci: Brilliance and Grace - National Gallery - 2013 Trelawny of the Wells - Donmar Warehouse - 2013 Roy Lichtenstein: Retrospec...

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