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Apr 24, 2012
| ISBN 9780143120759
Apr 14, 2011
| ISBN 9781101476413
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Apr 24, 2012 | ISBN 9780143120759
Apr 14, 2011 | ISBN 9781101476413
From the New York Times bestselling author comes a "hugely entertaining" (NPR.org) look at vice and virtue through cutting-edge science
As he did in his award-winning book The Accidental Mind, David J. Linden—highly regarded neuroscientist, professor, and writer—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.
David J. Linden is a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The author of The Accidental Mind (2007) and The Compass of Pleasure (2011), he served for many years as the chief editor of The… More about David J. Linden
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