Why 'Wanting' and 'Liking' something simultaneously is overwhelming?
Wanting and liking are separate urges controlled by different brain circuits and when combined at once, the impact on the brain is especially powerful, according to
research (Smith and Berridge, 2007). University
The U-M study reports that the brain divides wanting and liking into separate circuits for the same sweet reward. Natural heroin-like chemicals (opioids) in a few brain "pleasure hotspots" make individuals want to eat more of a tasty sweet food, and make them like its sweet taste more when they eat it, the study says. The same thing happens with addictions to drugs, sex, gambling and other pursuits involving "brain reward" circuits.
The researchers Kyle Smith and Kent Berridge show that two different brain circuits carry out the wanting and liking for the sweet reward, even when both are triggered in the same brain pleasure hotspots.
"We typically want what we like, and like what we want," Smith said. "But these results suggest that wanting and liking are processed by distinct brain circuits and may not always go hand-in-hand."
Experimenters put an opioid drug (Damgo) into a pleasure hotspot in the brains of rats—in the front base of the brain—using a painless microinjection technique to deliver tiny chemical droplets to the brain target without disturbing the rats.
The opioid made the rats want to eat three times more food than normal, and to show double the normal number of "liking" expressions when they tasted the sugar.
"Liking" expressions are positive facial lip licking expressions that are similar in rats, monkeys, apes and even human infants.
"The brain seems to be more stingy with mechanisms for pleasure than for desire," Berridge said.
To turn off a particular brain circuit, the experimenters simultaneously made another microinjection of an opioid-suppressing chemical—in a different pleasure hotspot of the brain in some rats.
The opioid-suppressing chemical in that second hotspot completely prevented any increase in liking for the sugar taste from being caused by the first opioid-activating drug in the nucleus accumbens.
Nucleus accumbens shell (neuronal cover around core), but not core,
tracks motivational value (Loriaux et al., 2011)
But the opioid-activation in nucleus accumbens still caused the rats to want to eat triple the normal amount of food, even though the extra "liking" for it was gone.
A single looping circuit between hotspots was found to be always activated by microinjections that caused pleasure liking.
On the other hand, a different outgoing circuit from nucleus accumbens appeared to cause the wanting by going to the hypothalamus instead.
The U-M study reports that the brain divides wanting and liking into separate circuits for the same sweet reward.
Natural heroin-like chemicals (opioids) in a few brain "pleasure hotspots" make individuals want to eat more of a tasty sweet food, and make them like its sweet taste more when they eat it, the study says. The same thing happens with addictions to drugs, sex, gambling and other pursuits involving "brain reward" circuits
The findings suggest that liking and wanting for tasty treats can either change together or change separately, depending on which brain circuits are involved.
For example, various eating disorders might involve different activation patterns in the two brain circuits, possibly dissociating liking from wanting in some cases but not in others.
"It's relatively hard for a brain to generate pleasure, because it needs to activate different opioid sites together to make you like something more," Berridge said.
"It's easier to activate desire, because a brain has several 'wanting' pathways available for the task. Sometimes a brain will like the rewards it wants. But other times it just wants them."
This is what neuroscience opened for us. The scientific materials make it clear why majority of people live under “the pressure of wanting”. The question arises easily: “Where is satisfaction?”
Wanting something strongly and not getting it, leads first to hyper-agitation, then to stress. Life without satisfaction and physical pleasure fills the body with tension.
It turns out that most of people have no natural mechanisms of pleasure and satisfaction, i.e. feeling happily released and good! To compensate for this shortage or lack, people over-drink, over-eat and “over-do” other things they are not proud of.
What can be done? I found the solution to this problem and will reveal the information in my book
I still have not finished it because the mystery was uncovered for me only today. The truth is so simple and elegant, that all pain disappears very fast, within minutes.
- Kyle S. Smith and Kent C. Berridge. Opioid Limbic Circuit for Reward: Interaction between Hedonic Hotspots of Nucleus Accumbens and Ventral Pallidum. The Journal of Neuroscience, 14 February 2007, 27(7): 1594-1605; doi: 10.1523. JNEUROSCI.4205-06.2007. Abstract/FREE Full Text
- Amy L. Loriaux, Jamie D. Roitman, and Mitchell F. Roitman. Nucleus accumbens shell, but not core, tracks motivational value of salt J Neurophysiol September 2011 106:(3) 1537-1544; published ahead of print June 22, 2011, doi:10.1152/jn.00153.2011 0022-3077 1522-1598 . Abstract/ Full Text / Full Text (PDF)/ Supplemental Figures and Tables.