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Building a neuroscience of pleasure and well-being

Overview of attention for article published in Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice, January 2011
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (80th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
2 blogs
1 policy source
28 tweeters
5 Facebook pages
4 Google+ users


121 Dimensions

Readers on

421 Mendeley
3 CiteULike
Building a neuroscience of pleasure and well-being
Published in
Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice, January 2011
DOI 10.1186/2211-1522-1-3
Pubmed ID

Kent C Berridge, Morten L Kringelbach


BACKGROUND: How is happiness generated via brain function in lucky individuals who have the good fortune to be happy? Conceptually, well-being or happiness has long been viewed as requiring at least two crucial ingredients: positive affect or pleasure (hedonia) and a sense of meaningfulness or engagement in life (eudaimonia). Science has recently made progress in relating hedonic pleasure to brain function, and so here we survey new insights into how brains generate the hedonic ingredient of sustained or frequent pleasure. We also briefly discuss how brains might connect hedonia states of pleasure to eudaimonia assessments of meaningfulness, and so create balanced states of positive well-being. RESULTS: Notable progress has been made in understanding brain bases of hedonic processing, producing insights into that brain systems that cause and/or code sensory pleasures. Progress has been facilitated by the recognition that hedonic brain mechanisms are largely shared between humans and other mammals, allowing application of conclusions from animal studies to a better understanding of human pleasures. In the past few years, evidence has also grown to indicate that for humans, brain mechanisms of higher abstract pleasures strongly overlap with more basic sensory pleasures. This overlap may provide a window into underlying brain circuitry that generates all pleasures, including even the hedonic quality of pervasive well-being that detaches from any particular sensation to apply to daily life in a more sustained or frequent fashion. CONCLUSIONS: Hedonic insights are applied to understanding human well-being here. Our strategy combines new findings on brain mediators that generate the pleasure of sensations with evidence that human brains use many of the same hedonic circuits from sensory pleasures to create the higher pleasures. This in turn may be linked to how hedonic systems interact with other brain systems relevant to self-understanding and the meaning components of eudaimonic happiness. Finally, we speculate a bit about how brains that generate hedonia states might link to eudaimonia assessments to create properly balanced states of positive well-being that approach true happiness.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 28 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 421 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 5 1%
Portugal 3 <1%
Germany 3 <1%
Italy 3 <1%
United Kingdom 3 <1%
Spain 3 <1%
Denmark 2 <1%
Costa Rica 1 <1%
Sweden 1 <1%
Other 12 3%
Unknown 385 91%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 70 17%
Student > Ph. D. Student 67 16%
Student > Bachelor 55 13%
Researcher 53 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 36 9%
Other 90 21%
Unknown 50 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 161 38%
Neuroscience 46 11%
Medicine and Dentistry 43 10%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 23 5%
Social Sciences 21 5%
Other 64 15%
Unknown 63 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 64. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 April 2021.
All research outputs
of 19,195,752 outputs
Outputs from Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice
of 44 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 233,752 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice
of 5 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,195,752 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 44 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.1. This one scored the same or higher as 40 of them.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 233,752 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 3 of them.