Emotion. Pleasure and pain in the brain


OUP 2014 , 304 pages; 120 line art; 246x189mm; ISBN13: 978-0-19-959349-1. Price: $55.00 (£29.99) On amazon.co.uk

  • A clear, coherent account of this interdisciplinary field
  • Provides unique insights into the neural basis of emotion, while taking care to present these insights in the context of the wider study of psychology
  • The engaging prose is enriched with full colour illustrations, helping the reader to visualise even the most challenging concepts
  • Contrasts normal emotional processing with maladaptive responses, showing how the study of normal behaviour can illuminate our understanding of psychiatric conditions
  • The Online Resource Centre provides additional materials to augment the print text

Emotions are often seen as an intrinsic part of what makes us human; they underpin how we feel about ourselves, and our interactions with others. New discoveries continue to reveal more about how emotion translates into brain activity – what is actually happening in our brains to make us ‘feel’ the way we do. They are also illuminating our understanding of dysfunctional emotions – the emotional basis of addiction, or the maladaptive emotional behaviors that characterize our difficult, and sometimes pathological, relationship with food.

Emotion presents the fundamental principles of the neural mechanisms underlying emotional processing as well as reviewing our current scientific understanding of pleasure and emotion. The book takes the reader from everyday conceptions of pleasure and emotion through to the latest insights into the nature and functions of emotions at the interface of psychology and neuroscience, before exploring topics such as the nature of subjective experience and future possibilities including emotions in silico.

Throughout, the book focuses on the principles of reward systems in the brain and its links with mainstream psychology, helping the reader to understand the function and nature of emotion and pleasure, and its relevance to the rest of psychology. In addition, it also offers a clear understanding of fundamental topics such as the social emotions, individual emotions and the role of emotion and pleasure in decision making.

The book also encourages the reader to achieve a better understanding of emotional disorders, which are central to clinical psychology and the treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders.

Emotion is the ideal guide for any student wanting a clear, contemporary introduction to this complex yet fascinating subject.

Online Resource Centre
For registered adopters of the book:
– Figures from the book in electronic format
– A series of Journal Clubs – suggested papers and discussion questions related to topics featured in the book

Undergraduates and beginning graduates studying emotion as part of a psychology or neuroscience degree programme.

Advance praise

“A welcome and contemporary introduction to the study of the emotions and their underlying psychological and neurological processes – a treasure for students of the subject” Professor Eric A. Salzen, The University of Aberdeen

“An outstanding illustration of the excellence attainable when a superb affective neuroscientist combines efforts with a wonderful science writer: a sophisticated yet accessible book on emotions and the brain. Delightfully written, Kringelbach and Phillips’ account instantly engages interest, and you won’t want to put it down until the end” Professor Kent Berridge, University of Michigan

“An excellent text. Concise yet comprehensive, attractive and accurate in presentation, this short volume integrates cutting edge science with time-honoured insights to offer a compelling introduction to the study of emotion. Highly recommended for all those interested in what makes us human” Peter C. Whybrow, MD, Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the Judson Braun Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.