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The purpose of this review is to offer a panorama on 10 years of nutrition research using in vivo brain imaging in the pig model. First, we will review some work describing the brain responses to food signals, including basic tastants such as sweet and bitter at both oral and visceral levels, as well as conditioned preferred and aversive flavours. Second, we will have a look at the impact of weight gain and obesity on brain metabolism and functional responses, drawing the parallel with obese human patients. Third, we will evoke the concept of the developmental origins of health and diseases, and how the pig model can shed light on the importance of maternal nutrition during gestation and lactation for the development of the gut–brain axis and adaptation abilities of the progeny to nutritional environments. Finally, three examples of preventive or therapeutic strategies will be introduced: the use of sensory food ingredients or pre-, pro-, and postbiotics to improve metabolic and cognitive functions; the implementation of chronic vagus nerve stimulation to prevent weight gain and glucose metabolism alterations; and the development of bariatric surgery in the pig model for the understanding of its complex mechanisms at the gut–brain level. A critical conclusion will brush the limitations of neurocognitive studies in the pig model and put in perspective the rationale and ethical concerns underlying the use of pig experimentation in nutrition and neurosciences.
This essay argues that the phenomenon of repeat viewing of films by Bollywood audiences is worthy of being treated as an unusual cultural practice in which repetition and difference support and reinforce each other in the manner suggested by Gilles Deleuze. This relationship is particularly enabled by the relationship of music to plot in these films, in which song sequences provide a repetitive or percussive element that deepens the melodic and innovative element provided by the story. Not all films are able to attract repeat viewers, which raises a question about the role of the “formula” in the Hindi film industry. Further, the pleasures of repetition in this domain offer a suggestive perspective on India’s larger political dilemma, which is to combine the repetition of Western modernity with the unique developmental signature of Indian culture.
Bilateral symmetry in handaxes has significant implications for hominin cognitive and socio-behavioural evolution. Here the authors show that high levels of symmetry occur in the British Late Middle Pleistocene Acheulean, which they consider to be a deliberate, socially mediated act. Furthermore, they argue that lithic technology in general, and handaxes in particular, were part of a pleasure-reward system linked to dopamine-releasing neurons in the brain. Making handaxes made Acheulean hominins happy, and one particularly pleasing property was symmetry.
Presence of negative mood (depressed mood) and anhedonia (lack of interest and pleasure) are considered core symptoms of depression, while absence of positive mood is not taken into account. It is therefore remarkable that the depression scales routinely used to assess changes during antidepressant treatment (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [HDRS], Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS]) do not really take into account anhedonia. Several scales were developed to assess positive mood and hedonic tone, but they only partially cover the multidimensional concept. Therefore we developed a new 16-item questionnaire, the Leuven Affect and Pleasure Scale (LAPS), to assess negative affect, positive affect, and hedonic tone.
This first article on the LAPS questionnaire reports on the correlations between the different items, on the factor analysis, and on the differences found in 3 groups of subjects : healthy college students (N=138), depressed but still functioning college students (N=27), and severely depressed inpatients (N=38). These differences were calculated using univariate general linear models with Bonferroni post-hoc testing, and effect sizes were expressed in η2.
Negative and positive affect were only moderately correlated, and the 4 independent variables (cognitive functioning, overall functioning, meaningful life, and happiness) had stronger correlations with positive affect than with negative affect. The major difference in negative affect was between healthy college students and depressed college students, positive affect was different between the 3 groups, and the major difference for hedonic tone was between depressed college students and depressed inpatients. Affiliative positive affect and the affiliative hedonic function were well preserved, even in depressed inpatients.
This preliminary report suggests that the LAPS offers a comprehensive assessment of negative and positive affect, of hedonic tone, and of independent variables (cognitive functioning, overall functioning, meaningful life, and happiness). Clinically relevant differences in subscores were found in 3 groups of subjects with variable levels of depression (healthy subjects, mildly depressed subjects, and severely depressed inpatients).
This article draws from “big-data” analysis of Netflix’s usage, which suggests that what spectators tend to like about films is inherently generic. Moreover, the process of liking serves as a metaphor, over and above the process of taking pleasure, for the ways in which spectators make texts meaningful rather than deriving meaning from them. The article then discusses some examples of African cultural production in order to focus attention on the category of analysis at stake in theorizing genre—a discussion that helps to distinguish genre’s thematic ontology from its material, formal, and stylistic features. Finally, at the intersection of spectator agency and theme, genre appears to be an “ideological impulse,” a way of relating to and encoding experience that begins with people and that they distribute over texts. This way of understanding genre, the article argues, may help scholars write more productively about the social nature of the concept.
This paper gives an account of Kant’s concept of self-contentment (Selbstzufriedenheit), i.e. the satisfaction involved in the performance of moral action. This concept is vulnerable to an important objection: if moral action is satisfying, it might only ever be performed for the sake of this satisfaction. I explain Kant’s response to this objection and argue that it is superior to Francis Hutcheson’s response to a similar objection. I conclude by showing that two other notions of moral satisfaction in Kant’s moral philosophy, namely ‘sweet merit’ and the highest good, also avoid the objection.
Feeling, for any animal, is a faculty of comparing objects or representations with regard to whether they promote its vital powers (pleasure) or hinder them (displeasure). But whereas these comparisons presuppose a species-concept in non-rational animals, nature has not equipped the human being with a universal principle or life-form that would determine what agrees or disagrees with it. As humans, we must determine our mode of life for ourselves. Contrary to other interpretations, I argue that this places the human capacity for pleasure and displeasure outside of nature and in a realm of spirit.
The article argues for an approach to studies of sexuality in Africa that considers the subject of female sexuality from the perspective of capacity and power. Based on data from Mozambique, and informed by conceptual frameworks as well as by research findings from other African countries, the article investigates preparations of the erotic female body such as body tattoos, hip belts of glass beads, and elongated labia. It also discusses how “traditional” sexual capacity-building has been transferred from rural contexts into urban settings, empowering young women in love relationships with older, richer men.
According to rationalist conceptions of moral agency, the constitutive capacities of moral agency are rational capacities. So understood, rationalists are often thought to have a problem with feeling. For example, many believe that rationalists must reject the attractive Aristotelian thought that moral activity is by nature pleasant. I disagree. It is easy to go wrong here because it is easy to assume that pleasure is empirical rather than rational and so extrinsic rather than intrinsic to moral agency, rationalistically conceived. Drawing on underappreciated elements of Kant’s moral psychology, I sketch an alternative form of rationalism, according to which moral activity is by nature pleasant because at least some pleasures are by nature rational.
Recent results from the neurosciences demonstrate that pleasure and pain are not two symmetrical poles of a single scale of experience but in fact two different types of experiences altogether, with dramatically different contributions to well-being. These differences between pleasure and pain and the general finding that “the bad is stronger than the good” have important implications for our treatment of nonhuman animals. In particular, whereas animal experimentation that causes suffering might be justified if it leads to the prevention of more suffering, it can never by justified merely by leading to increased levels of happiness.
Much has been written about Plato's accounts of pleasure in Republic 9 and Philebus, almost nothing about his account in Timaeus. But with respect to sense-perceptual pleasure specifically, the account in Timaeus is unique and extremely informative. This paper examines, in turn, the physiology and the psychology of sense-perceptual pleasure, focusing on the text at 64a2–65b3, but drawing on a wide range of passages from elsewhere in the dialogue. The paper concludes with a further suggestion: that Timaeus is implicitly committed to a distinction between two kinds of perceptual pleasure, sense-perceptual pleasure and ‘brute’ pleasure.
One of the most important goals of palliative care is achieving a good death. Most Japanese believe that “having some pleasure in daily life” is necessary at the end of life. The aim of this study was to identify, from the perspective of physicians and nurses, a care strategy that ensures that cancer patients have pleasure in daily life at the end of life.
We conducted semistructured interviews with experts in palliative care units. A total of 45 participants included 22 palliative care physicians and 23 nurses. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using a content analysis method.
Care for end-of-life cancer patients that ensures they have some pleasure in daily life was classified into five categories: “Pain assessment and pain easing” aimed to offer physical and psychological pain assessment and relief. “Maintenance of recuperative environment” aimed to offer care that arranged for assistive devices and equipment in the patient's room. “Support of daily life” aimed to offer care that eased accomplishment of daily activities. “Care that respects individuality” aimed to offer care that assessed sources of pleasure for the patient. “Events and complementary and alternative therapies” aimed to offer such care as aromatherapy and massage.
Significance of results:
The elements of care identified in this study are useful for all end-of-life cancer patients, even those who do not enter palliative care units. The next step of research is to test the efficacy of interventions that reflect the five identified categories of care for end-of life cancer patients.
The aim of this essay has been the evaluation of three orientations towards happiness: pleasure, meaning and engagement, as well as their relation to life satisfaction and the perception of happiness in a sample of 320 university students. The results show that the most used kind of orientation towards happiness is pleasure, followed by meaning, and finally engagement. It has also been found that pleasure is the orientation most closely associated to happiness while engagement seems to be more related to life satisfaction. These findings aim to the distinction between the concepts of happiness and life satisfaction and lead the attention to the actions which can improve the levels of happiness.
To investigate hedonic reactivity and the influence of unconscious emotional processes on the low sensitivity to positive reinforcement of food in anorexia nervosa (AN).
AN and healthy women were exposed to palatable food pictures just after a subliminal exposure to facial expressions (happy, disgust, fear and neutral faces), either while fasting or after a standardized meal (hunger versus satiety). Both implicit [facial electromyographic (EMG) activity from zygomatic and corrugator muscles, skin conductance, heart rate, and videotaped facial behavior] and explicit (self-reported pleasure and desire) measures of affective processes were recorded.
In contrast to healthy women, the AN patients did not display objective and subjective indices of pleasure to food pictures when they were in the hunger states. Pleasure to food cues (liking) was more affected than the desire to eat (wanting) in AN patients. Subliminal ‘fear faces’ increased corrugator muscle reactivity to food stimuli in fasting AN patients, as compared to controls.
The results suggest that unconscious fear cues increase the negative appraisal of alimentary stimuli in AN patients and thus contribute to decreased energy intake.
This article draws on ethnographic research conducted at a number of brain imaging sites to examine investigations into emotion, and specifically the experience of pleasure. Using a small set of healthy volunteers, the experiments are designed to observe reactions in the brain when people are subjected to carefully chosen stimuli. But as these studies shift from structural to functional aspects, the imperative to establish a material basis for complex abstract experiences is compelling the scientists to revise previous descriptions of the brain. In order to generate a single model that can satisfactorily associate the experimental stimuli with observed responses, intricate interactions relating to both time and space have to be disentangled and reorganized into a singular linear narrative. As a result, only those elements that can be localized and delimited emerge as components of the pathways and maps used to represent the experience. Wider issues, such as the social context of the experiment, the meaning of the experience for the volunteer, or acknowledgement that different things might be happening at the same time, cannot be reconciled with this process. Consequently, the final neuroscientific accounts inevitably ignore or circumvent aspects that cannot be described in a very particular way.