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The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption$
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Stephanie D. Preston, Morten L. Kringelbach, and Brian Knutson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027670

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027670.001.0001

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Balancing Consumption: Brain Insights from PleasureCycles

Balancing Consumption: Brain Insights from PleasureCycles

(p.199) 11 Balancing Consumption: Brain Insights from PleasureCycles
The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption

L. Kringelbach Morten

The MIT Press

Pleasure is central to the survival of individuals and species. The main challenge for the brain is to successfully balance the survival-related decision-making involved in optimizing resource allocation. The pursuit of fundamental rewards such as food and sex typically follows a cyclical time course with phases related to wanting, liking and satiety. Here, the evidence is presented for the brain networks and mechanisms involved in initiating, sustaining and terminating the various phases of the pleasure cycle. There are remarkable similarities between the pleasure cycles of different rewards including higher-order pleasures such as music and monetary reward. A better understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms of this pleasure cycle could potentially yield new insights into various disorders of consummatory behaviour. In particular, this could lead to better ways of balancing reward networks rather than maximizing one process at the expense of others. These interventions could in turn lead to more balanced states of positive well-being.

Keywords:   Pleasure cycles, Optimized resource allocation, Consummatory behaviour disorders, Reward networks

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