The pleasure center is located in the limbic system. It is involved in sexual arousal and in the "high" derived from certain recreational drugs. Dopamine acts here. Rats with electrodes implanted into their limbic system will self-stimulate in preference over food and will eventually die of exhaustion.
The limbic system is tightly connected to the prefrontal cortex. It has been conjectured that this connection is related to the pleasure obtained from solving problems. To cure severe emotional disorders, this connection was sometimes surgically severed, a procedure of psychosurgery. Patients who underwent this procedure often became passive and lacked all motivation.
The limbic system is highly interconnected with the brain's so-called pleasure center, a structure known as the nucleus accumbens.
The nucleus accumbens is involved in sexual arousal and in the "high" derived from certain recreational drugs.
The French physician Paul Broca first called this part of the brain "le grande lobe limbique" in 1878, but it's putative role in emotion wasn't largely developed until 1937, when the American physician James Papez first described his anatomical model of emotion, which is still refered to as the Papez circuit.
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