The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0143120751
ISBN 13: 978-0143120759
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 hugely entertaining look at why we enjoy the things we enjoy. ... There's hardcore biology here, but it's tempered with personal anecdotes, penetrating observations and quotes from the likes of comedian Mitch Hedberg and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. If you're science-phobic, don't worry: Linden is incredibly smart, but comes across as the funny, patient professor you wish you'd had in college."
-"National Public Radio", Michael Schaub
"This cheerful summary of the brain's reward system is a profound experience... "Pleasure" is a superb book. My brain has been changed by reading it."
-"The Guardian" (UK), Leo Benedictus
About the Author
David J. Linden is a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The author of The Accidental Mind—winner of a Silver Medal at the Independent Publisher's Book Awards—he serves as the editor in chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.