ADVERTISEMENT
See Inside Scientific American Volume 307, Issue 2

New Pleasure Circuit Found in the Brain

A new understanding of how the brain generates pleasure could lead to better treatment of addiction and depression—and even to a new science of happiness

More In This Article

In the 1950s psychiatrist Robert Heath of Tulane University launched a controversial program to surgically implant electrodes into the brains of patients institutionalized with epilepsy, schizophrenia, depression and other severe neurological conditions. His initial objective: to locate the biological seat of these disorders and, by artificially stimulating those regions, perhaps cure individuals of their disease.

According to Heath, the results were dramatic. Patients who were nearly catatonic with despair could be made to smile, converse, even giggle. But the relief was short-lived. When the stimulation ceased, the symptoms returned.

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content


It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on nature.com.
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Rights & Permissions
Share this Article:

Comments

You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Limited Time Only!

Get 50% off Digital Gifts

Hurry sale ends 12/31 >

X

Email this Article

X