Hedonia in Sandbjerg

The central premise of Hedonia: TrygFonden Research Group is that in order to more effectively treat affective disorders, we need to develop a better understanding of hedonic processing – that is the affective component of sensory processing – in the human brain.

Pleasure is central to our lives and intimately linked to emotional, cognitive and reward processing in the brain. In general, hedonic experience is arguably at the heart of what makes us human, but at the same time it is also one of the most important factors keeping us from staying healthy. Understanding the underlying brain mechanisms can therefore help us understand and potentially treat the serious problems of affective disorders.

Hedonia: TrygFonden Research Group is a transnational research group based both in the Department of Psychiatry, Oxford, and at CFIN, Aarhus University, Denmark. The overall goal is to understand the fundamental neural mechanisms underlying human sensory and social pleasures, in order to increase our understanding and potential treatment of depression, obesity and eating disorders as well as with problems of parent-child attachment.

This is accomplished through the study of normal, neuropsychiatric and clinical populations using converging neuroimaging methods such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) combined with functional MRI, PET and DTI.

  • Research. Hear more in the radio programme from the BBC World Service at the Wellcome Collection (and watch this video).
  • Balancing the brain. Learn more about deep brain stimulation through watching videos of patients and reading our Nature Review.
  • Alleviating anhedonia. We have recently setup Scars of War Foundation at The Queen's College to help advance our understanding of the effects of war and disaster.
  • Fun. The science of cuteness in babies and other animals is a very important research focus. See videos on cute babies and dogs - and more videos of our research.
  • OxVoc. We have developed the Oxford Vocal (OxVoc) Sound Database with 173 positive, neutral and negative non-verbal sounds of infants, adults and domestic animals which have been normed on many dimensions (Parsons, Young et al, 2014). We will make OxVoc freely available to the community soon.


Morten L. Kringelbach

Professor Morten L. Kringelbach, D.Phil., is the director of the Hedonia: TrygFonden Research Group. He is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and a Professor at Aarhus University , Denmark, as well as Senior Research Fellow at The Queen's College, University of Oxford.

"Emotion: Pleasure and pain in the brain" by Morten L. Kringelbach and Helen Phillips
"The Pleasure Center" by Morten L. Kringelbach "Pleasures of the brain" by Morten L. Kringelbach and Kent C. Berridge

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Copyright 1998-2013 Morten Kringelbach