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Happy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From, and Why

Happy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From, and Why

by Dean Burnett


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Neuroscientist Dean Burnett dives into the squishy science and bubbly feelings of what happiness means.

The pursuit of happiness is one of the most common and enduring quests of human life. It’s what drives us to get a job, fall in love, watch stand-up comedy, go to therapy, have questionable obsessions, and come home at the end of the day. But where does happiness come from, and why do we need it so much? Is lasting, permanent happiness possible—or should it be? And what does any of this have to do with the brain?

In this delightful sequel to Idiot Brain, Dean Burnett explores these questions from a neuroscientific perspective. He combines the latest research and theories about how the brain works with interviews and contributions from relevant individuals, such as relationship experts, psychology professors, comedy writers, celebrities, millionaire gurus, and pretty much anyone else involved in bringing about happiness in others. Distinguished by Burnett’s signature wit and curiosity, Happy Brain elucidates our understanding of what happiness actually is, where it comes from, and what exactly is going on in our brains when we’re in a cheery state. Humorous and enlightening, Happy Brain explores a fascinating aspect of modern neuroscience and, in the process, reveals something about what it means to be human.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393651348
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/29/2018
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Dean Burnett is a neuroscientist and research associate at the Centre for Medical Education at Cardiff University. He writes a popular science blog called Brain Yapping for the Cosmic Shambles Network and dabbles in stand-up comedy. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Happiness in the Brain 5

2 There's No Place Like Home 41

3 Working on the Brain 70

4 Happiness Is Other People 104

5 Love, Lust or Bust 139

6 You've Got to Laugh 182

7 The Dark Side of Happiness 219

8 Happiness Through the Ages 257

Afterword 295

Acknowledgments 302

Notes 304

Index 335

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