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The pleasure instinct : why we crave adventure, chocolate, pheromones, and music

Author: Gene Wallenstein
Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"In The Pleasure Instinct, pioneering neurobiologist Gene Wallenstein takes you on a delightful tour through the relationship between human beings and pleasure, from its biological origins, through its role in brain development, to the latest findings that have direct applications today. The pleasure instinct, he contends, is evolution's ancient tool for prodding us in the directions that maximize our reproductive  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Wallenstein, Gene, 1964-
Pleasure instinct.
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, ©2009
(OCoLC)648281182
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Gene Wallenstein
ISBN: 9780471619154 0471619159
OCLC Number: 231583751
Description: x, 245 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: The pleasure instinct and brain development --
Foibles and follies --
How to win friends and influence people --
What makes Sammy dance? --
The pleasures of the sensory world --
The pleasure of touch --
In praise of odors --
For the love of chocolate --
The evolution of the lullaby --
In search of pretty things --
The pleasure instinct and the modern experience --
Pleasure from proportion and symmetry --
Pleasure from repetition and rhythm --
Homo addictus --
Parsing pleasure.
Responsibility: Gene Wallenstein.

Abstract:

"In The Pleasure Instinct, pioneering neurobiologist Gene Wallenstein takes you on a delightful tour through the relationship between human beings and pleasure, from its biological origins, through its role in brain development, to the latest findings that have direct applications today. The pleasure instinct, he contends, is evolution's ancient tool for prodding us in the directions that maximize our reproductive success. This same drive has created a staggering panorama of behaviors, pathologies, and cultural idioms in our modern lives that often bewilder and beguile. Beginning with the five senses, Wallenstein explores the evolution of pleasure by asking such simple but penetrating questions as: How does music soothe our souls? What do we love so much about chocolate? How can particular aromas trigger vivid memories? Why are certain textures, shapes, and colors more pleasing than others? Wallenstein then reveals that in each case, the pleasure instinct delivers a distinct advantage, encourages normal brain growth, and enhances our ability to use and benefit from our senses. This fascinating trek to the nexus of evolutionary biology and psychology goes on to examine the impact of pleasure in our everyday lives. Wallenstein reveals how the pleasure instinct influences everything from how we choose our mates to why we laugh at jokes, from our favorite dance rhythms to our preferences in art, perfume, and amusement park rides. He also takes a look at the dark side of pleasure, seeking to unearth the evolutionary roots of addiction, fetishes, and other excesses in the pursuit of pleasure. Why does pleasure exist? When Wallenstein asks this question against the backdrop of evolution, the answers reveal the framework of a new world view that is beginning to change the way we think about human nature. Filled with fascinating insights into human behavior, this book will challenge your preconceptions and give you a new understanding of what drives the pursuit of pleasure."--Jacket.

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