It is the liking system that Berridge believes is the brain's reward center. When we experience pleasure, it is our own opioid system, rather than our dopamine system, that is being stimulated. This is why the opiate drugs induce a kind of blissful stupor so different from the animating effect of cocaine and amphetamines. Wanting and liking are complimentary. The former catalyzes us to action; the later brings us to a satisfied pause. Seeking needs to be turned off, if even for a little while, so that the system does not run in an endless loop. When we get the object of our desire (be it a Twinkie or a sexual partner), we engage in consummatory acts that Panksepp says reduce arousal in the brain and temporarily, at least, inhibit our urge to seek.Read the whole thing. See also Wanting and Liking.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Brain centers for wanting a liking
From The powerful and mysterious brain circuitry that makes us love Google, Twitter, and texting. - By Emily Yoffe - Slate Magazine.