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The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Goodby David J. Linden
Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author examines how our sense of touch and emotion are interconnected
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist and bestselling author of The Compass of Pleasure, David J. Linden presents an engaging and fascinating examination of how the interface between our sense of touch and our emotional responses affects our social interactions as well as our general health and development. Accessible in its wit and clarity, Touch explores scientific advances in the understanding of touch that help explain our sense of self and our experience of the world.
From skin to nerves to brain, the organization of the bodyand#8217;s touch circuits powerfully influences our livesand#151;affecting everything from consumer choice to sexual intercourse, tool use to the origins of language, chronic pain to healing. Interpersonal touch is crucial to social bonding and individual development. Linden lucidly explains how sensory and emotional context work together to distinguish between perceptions of what feels good and what feels bad. Linking biology and behavioral science, Linden offers an entertaining and enlightening answer to how we feel in every sense of the word.
From the New York Times bestselling author comes a andquot;hugely entertainingandquot; (NPR.org) look at vice and virtue through cutting-edge science
As he did in his award-winning book The Accidental Mind, David J. Lindenandmdash;highly regarded neuroscientist, professor, and writerandmdash;weaves empirical science with entertaining anecdotes to explain how the gamut of behaviors that give us a buzz actually operates. The Compass of Pleasure makes clear why drugs like nicotine and heroin are addictive while LSD is not, how fast food restaurants ensure that diners will eat more, why some people cannot resist the appeal of a new sexual encounter, and much more. Provocative and illuminating, this is a radically new and thorough look at the desires that define us.
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 the Author
David J. Linden is a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The author of The Accidental Mindandmdash;winner of a Silver Medal at the Independent Publisher's Book Awardsandmdash;he serves as the editor in chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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