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The pleasure center : trust your animal instincts


Morten L. Kringelbach, The pleasure center : trust your animal instincts, New York, Oxford University Press, 2009, 304 p.


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.

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