Beyond sensation: current thinking on sensory pleasure

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Kozlowski, D, Brooks, A & van der Zwan, R 2012, 'Beyond sensation: current thinking on sensory pleasure', in R van der Zwan (ed.), Current trends in experimental and applied psychology, vol. 1, Primrose Hall, Brisbane, Qld. ISBN: 9781471604461


Pleasure is something most of us value very highly. However, although we may spend considerable time and energy engineering opportunities to experience pleasure, we may not give much thought to its essential nature. Recent advances in neuroimaging are allowing the nature of pleasure to be explored in new scientific ways. What is emerging is a finer-grained picture of hedonic pleasure as one unique aspect of what has traditionally been known broadly as ‘reward’. The brain structures and neurochemicals involved in the experience of pleasure are discussed here, along with the psychophysical evidence, and finally, initial speculation on some potential effects of pleasure beyond sensation.