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The Enchanted Loom reviews David Linden's book, The Compass of Pleasure


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David Linden is a professor at Johns Hopkins University whose ability to translate complex neuroscience concepts and findings into enjoyable, readable prose is unparalleled. In this book he takes a look at all the systems in the brain and body that, when working well, allow us to naturally embrace and enjoy the lives we are living.

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The Enchanted Loom reviews David Linden's book, The Compass of Pleasure

  1. 1. The Enchanted Loom Teasing sturdy threads from neuroscience masterworks
  2. 2. Teasing 10 threads from David Linden’s…
  3. 3. Thread 1: Shopping, learning, gambling, prayer, orgasm, and altruism all trigger pleasure circuits in the Ventral Tegmental Area deep in the brain. (pg. 3)
  4. 4. Thread 2: What makes pleasure so compelling is that we adorn it with associations, emotions, social meaning, sights, tastes, sounds and smells. (pg. 26)
  5. 5. Thread 3: A whole lot of what drugs do to the mind is in the mind. (pg. 42)
  6. 6. Thread 4: Many cultural influences insist that obesity is a failure of willpower. Genetic evidence argues strongly against that idea. (pg. 80)
  7. 7. Thread 5: Fats and sugars are super- addictive, producing larger jolts to the pleasure circuits together than either one alone. (pg. 84)
  8. 8. Thread 6: Portions of the prefrontal cortex become deactivated in people newly fallen in love. (pg. 103)
  9. 9. Thread 7: Some men and women can reliably achieve orgasm through thought alone without any touching whatsoever. (pg. 111)
  10. 10. Thread 8: Any sound, smell, sight or memory can become associated with pleasure and can thereby become pleasurable in it’s own right. (pg. 135)
  11. 11. Thread 9: The opposite of love is indifference; the opposite of pleasure is not pain, but ennui- a lack of interest in sensation and experience. (pg. 154)
  12. 12. Thread 10: Knowledge for the sake of knowledge can engage the pleasure/ reward circuitry. Some ideas can be as addictive as drugs. (pgs. 168-169)
  13. 13. Image Credits: Title Page: Slide 3 - Slide 12 - Slide 2 - Slide 6 - Slide 5 - Slide 11 - Slide 10 - Slide 14 - Slide 9 - Slide 8 - Slide 7 - Slide 4 -
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