Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 Apr;9(4):314-20. doi: 10.1038/nrn2333.

A common neurobiology for pain and pleasure.

Author information

Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain, Department of Clinical Neurology, Oxford University, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.


Pain and pleasure are powerful motivators of behaviour and have historically been considered opposites. Emerging evidence from the pain and reward research fields points to extensive similarities in the anatomical substrates of painful and pleasant sensations. Recent molecular-imaging and animal studies have demonstrated the important role of the opioid and dopamine systems in modulating both pain and pleasure. Understanding the mutually inhibitory effects that pain and reward processing have on each other, and the neural mechanisms that underpin such modulation, is important for alleviating unnecessary suffering and improving well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center