What do generosity, learning, and exercise have in common with liquor, drugs, cheesecake, and gambling? According to David J. Linden, they all activate our “pleasure center” and can become addictive to us. In The Compass of Pleasure, Linden examines brain research and evolutionary science findings to determine what kinds of things our brains find pleasurable, and why we get such a rush from them. Linden’s writing style is witty and conversational, making The Compass of Pleasure a fun and intriguing summer read.
Food and the brain
How does your brain sense flavor? Neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd delves into this question in Neurogastronomy. He skillfully considers how not just smell and taste, but also the other senses work together to make a “brain flavor system.” Moving beyond the anatomical, Shepherd looks at the ways in which the brain flavor system impacts diverse aspects of life, from emotion to memory to drug addiction.
We’ve all felt cravings, and when they’re strong enough, it seems like we’ll do almost anything to satisfy them. In Craving, Dr. Omar Manejwala looks at the neurobiology behind these irrepressible desires, to seek an understanding of how and why our brains make us crave things, and how we can change our brains to take control of the things we crave.