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Recent research in neuroscience provides a foundation for a cardinal utility function that is both hedonic and adaptive. We model such adaptation as arising from a limited capacity to make fine distinctions, where the utility functions adapt in real time. For minimizing the probability of error, an optimal mechanism is particularly simple. For maximizing expected fitness, a still simple mechanism is approximately optimal. The model predicts the hedonic treadmill and a variety of behavioral anomalies related to “behavioral contrast”, including a preference for rising consumption streams.