The word alliesthesia (Greek Allios changed and -esthesia sensation) is applied to the affective component of sensation, pleasure or displeasure. The amount of pleasure or displeasure aroused by a given stimulus is not invariable—it depends on the internal state of the stimulated subject. Factors that can modify the internal state and in turn induce alliesthesia are as follows: internal physiological variables (e.g., deep body temperature or body dehydration modify the pleasure of thermal sensation or taste of water); set points (e.g., during fever the body temperature set point is raised and pleasure defends the elevated set point); multiple peripheral stimuli (e.g., mean skin temperature determines the set point for deep body temperature and in turn generates alliesthesia); and past history of the subject (e.g., association of a flavor with a disease or a recovery from disease renders it unpleasant or pleasant). Positive alliesthesia indicates a change to a more pleasurable sensation; negative alliesthesia a change to a less pleasurable one.


Food Intake Body Temperature Sensory System Temperature Regulation Physiological Role 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Further reading

  1. Attia M (1985): Thermal pleasantness and temperature regulation in man. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 8:335–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cabanac M (1971): Physiological role of pleasure. Science 173:1103–1107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fantino M (1985): Role of sensory input in the control of food intake. J Auton Nerv Syst 10:347–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Cabanac

There are no affiliations available

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