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Neural Correlates of Pleasure: A Review of the Neuroscientific Literature of Pleasure
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 180 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Pleasure is part of hedonic well-being, with roots back to Epicurus 2000 years ago. With the new evolving neuroscientific methods of the late 20th and beginning of the 21st century, we are now able to study the biological components of pleasure. This thesis aims to review empirical studies on the neural correlates of pleasure, which can have important implications for well-being, and treatment of addiction and affective disorders. Recent studies have suggested that pleasure can be separated into coding and causing. Discoveries show that causing of pleasure is created in so called hedonic hot spots, areas of the brain that intensely creates pleasure in the shell of nucleus accumbens and in the ventral pallidum. Areas that codes pleasure on the other hand is represented into more cortical areas of the brain, including orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insular cortex. There has been a growing understanding about how pleasure is represented in the brain, and a discussion on interpretations and limitations are provided followed by future research suggestions in the final section.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
pleasure, reward, hedonic hot spot, nucleus accumbens, ventral pallidum, orbitofrontal cortex
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-9890OAI: diva2:743331
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Psychological Coach
Available from: 2014-09-11 Created: 2014-09-03 Last updated: 2014-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, Johan
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School of Bioscience
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