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How Our Brains Make Junk Food, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, and Gambling Feel So Good

David J. Linden

The pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. Now, award-winning neuro-scientist David J. Linden explains how recent research has enabled us to decipher how and when pleasure takes control of the brain–and won’t let go.

Combining cutting-edge science with entertaining anecdotes, Linden illuminates how behaviours that lead us to ecstasy can just as easily become compulsive. Why are nicotine and heroin addictive while LSD is not? Why has the search for safe appetite suppressants failed? And in the future, will it be possible to activate our pleasure circuits at will?

This eminently enjoyable and provocative book delves beyond what we like into why we can’t stop ourselves from liking it–even when we think we can.

  • Publication date: February 1, 2012
  • ISBN: 9781851688975
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 256


"Optimistic… Linden provides a fresh perspective."
Kirkus Reviews
"Fascinating… Linden is a proficient guide. He even concludes with an educated prediction of a future that promises round-the-clock, unbridled access to — theoretically, at least — guilt-free pleasure through a specially wired cap."
“Linden has the scientific explanations for what’s happening between your gut and your brain in why-am-I-hungry-for-a-fourth-macaroon-moments.”
"How do orgasms, heroin, greasy foods and juicy gossip jolt the same neurons? Neuroscientist David Linden delves into the research, mixing in plenty of trippy anecdotes."
Psychology Today
“[Linden] wears his learning lightly.... The book is interspersed with anecdotes...drawn from Linden's own life experience, making clear that the pleasures he describes are not limited to his laboratory.”
The Times Higher Educational Supplement
"Highly readable and full of fascinating facts and're sure to get pleasure from reading Pleasure. 4/5"
BBC Focus
"Pleasure is a superb book. My brain has been changed by reading it."
The Observer

David J. Linden

David J. Linden is a Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland, USA. The author of more than ninety scientific papers, his research has received awards from the Sloan, McKnight, and Klingenstein foundations as well as the Society for Neuroscience. His first book, The Accidental Mind, was published by Harvard University Press, and he also serves as the editor in chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Author page

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