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"The Compass of Pleasure" (Encore Presentation)

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On this encore edition of ST, a discussion of the neurobiology of pleasure,  and of how pleasures can turn into addictions. We speak with David J. Linden, who is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as the Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology. Linden's latest book  is "The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good." As one reviewer of this book, writing for Publishers Weekly, has noted approvingly: "By merging an evolutionary perspective with cutting-edge research in neuroscience, Linden . . . addresses provocative questions about the relationship between pleasure and addiction while exploring many of the broader implications of the nexus of the two. 'Understanding the biological basis of pleasure leads us to fundamentally rethink the moral and legal aspects of addiction to drugs, food, sex, and gambling, and the industries that manipulate these pleasures.' Linden is admirable at explaining complex scientific concepts for the nonspecialist. He focuses most of his attention on the role played by the small portion of our gray matter known as the medial forebrain pleasure circuit and demonstrates how both behavior and chemistry can activate its neurons. He also discusses the somewhat counterintuitive conclusion that addiction is often associated with decreased pleasure. Linden's conversational style, his abundant use of anecdotes, and his successful coupling of wit with insight makes the book a joy to read. Even the footnotes are sprinkled with hidden gems."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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