The Pleasure Center by Morten L. Kringelbach
Trust Your Animal Instincts

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Synopsis

Many people believe that pleasure and desire are obstacles to reasonable and intelligent behavior. In The Pleasure Center, Morten Kringelbach reveals that what we desire, what pleases us--in fact, our most base, animalistic tendencies--are actually very important sources of information. They motivate us for a good reason. And understanding that reason, taking that reason into account, and harnessing and directing that reason, can make us much more rational and effective people. In exploring the many facets of pleasure, desire and emotion, Kringelbach takes us through the whole spectrum of human experience, such as how emotion fuels our interest in things, allowing us to pay attention and learn. He investigates the reward systems of the brain and sheds light on some of the most interesting new discoveries about pleasure and desire. Kringelbach concludes that if we understand and accept how pleasure and desire arise in the complex interaction between the brain's activity and our own experiences, we can discover what helps us enjoy life, enabling us to make better decisions and, ultimately, lead happier lives.
 

About Morten L. Kringelbach

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Morten L. Kringelbach is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, and a Professor at Aarhus University Denmark. He is also an extraordinary JRF and College Lecturer at The Queen's College, University of Oxford.
 
Published November 14, 2008 by Oxford University Press. 304 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Pleasure Center

Publishers Weekly

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Despite its catchy title, this book is not a hedonistic celebration but a convincing case for the idea that, far from being ""reason's antithesis,"" emotional experiences of pleasure and pain are crucial to learning, making up ""the currency for our decisions and actions."" A senior research fell...

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Spirituality & Practice

Kringelbach closes with a discussion of anhedonia (the pronounced lack of pleasure) in depression and happiness as a state of contentment where pleasure without desire reigns free.

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