Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria. In psychology, the pleasure principle describes pleasure as a positive feedback mechanism, motivating the organism to recreate in the future the situation which it has just found pleasurable. According to this theory, organisms are similarly motivated to avoid situations that have caused pain in the past.
The experience of pleasure is subjective and different individuals will experience different kinds and amounts of pleasure in the same situation. Many pleasurable experiences are associated with satisfying basic biological drives, such as eating, exercise or sex. Other pleasurable experiences are associated with social experiences and social drives, such as the experiences of accomplishment, recognition, and service. The appreciation of cultural artifacts and activities such as art, music, and literature is often pleasurable.
In recent years, significant progress has been made in understanding the brain mechanisms underlying pleasure. One of the key discoveries was made by Kent C. Berridge who has shown that pleasure is not a unitary experience. Rather, pleasure consists of multiple brain processes including liking, wanting and learning subserved by distinct yet partially overlapping brain networks. In particular, this research has been helped by the use of objective pleasure-elicited reactions in humans and other animals such as the behavioral ‘liking’/‘disliking’ facial expressions to tastes that are homologous between humans and many other mammals.
Recreational drug use can be pleasurable: some drugs, illicit and otherwise, directly create euphoria in the human brain when ingested. The mind's natural tendency to seek out more of this feeling (as described by the pleasure principle) can lead to dependence and addiction. Berridge and Robinson have proposed that addiction results from drugs hijacking the ‘wanting’ system through a sensitization of the mesolimbic dopamine system.
Other articles related to "pleasure":
... film adaptation of the novel, the land is renamed as Pleasure Island ... Located in the fictional land of Cocagne, Pleasure Island serves as a haven for wayward boys, allowing them to act as they please without recrimination ... However, the truer and more sinister purpose of Pleasure Island is eventually revealed as it begins to physically transform the boys into donkeys, apparently by means of a curse ...
... Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest or Sagamiko Pleasure Forest (さがみ湖リゾート プレジャーフォレスト) formerly, Sagamiko Picnic Land (さがみ湖ピクニックランド) is an amusement park ...
... Masochists are those who derive pleasure from receiving pain ... The existence of masochism complicates the commonly-held view that pleasure, as a positive experience, is fundamentally opposite pain, a negative experience ...
... is not a true show hack class, but rather is a type of English pleasure class where exhibitors in Hunt seat tack and attire perform on the flat at a walk, trot, canter and hand ... Under Canadian rules, English pleasure is a subdivision within the Hack division, whereas in the USA show hack is usually considered a subdivision of ...
... Historians believe that the Pleasure Point roadhouse is an Esty ... (see Ross) The Pogonip Clubhouse and the Pleasure Point roadhouse also have many similarities ...
Famous quotes containing the word pleasure:
“The westerner, normally, walks to get somewhere that he cannot get in an automobile or on horseback. Hiking for its own sake, for the sheer animal pleasure of good condition and brisk exercise, is not an easy thing for him to comprehend.”
—State of Utah, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“There are women in middle life, whose days are crowded with practical duties, physical strain, and moral responsibility ... they fail to see that some use of the mind, in solid reading or in study, would refresh them by its contrast with carking cares, and would prepare interest and pleasure for their later years. Such women often sink into depression, as their cares fall away from them, and many even become insane. They are mentally starved to death.”
—Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (18421911)
“If variety is capable of filling every hour of the married state with the highest joy, then might it be said that Lord and Lady Dellwyn were completely blessed, for every idea that had the power of raising pleasure in the bosom of the one, depressed that of the other with sorrow and affliction.”
—Sarah Fielding (17101768)