Emotion: Neuroscience: Topics

This page will list some major (cross-level) topics related to the neural basis of emotion.

Neuro-Biological Theories of Emotions at a Glance:

  • Plutchick (1980). There are 8 primary states (Fear, Anger, Joy, Sadness, Acceptance, Disgust, Expectation, Surprise) which can be conceived as pairs of opposites. All other emotions are mixed or derivative states of the primary emotions. Each emotion vary in their degree of arousal (intensity). All evolutionary levels (animals to human) have emotions, and emotional expressions. Emotion serve an adaptive role in helping with survival issues, and primary emotions arise as a consequence of inadequacies between the organism and the sensory environment (including 'internal senses' such as thoughts)
  • Rolls (1986). Emotion can be defined as staes produced by reinforcing stimuli. The amygdala establishes the stimuli-reinforcement associations, the orbitofrontal cortex manage them, and the hypothalamus expresses the emotional state.
  • Pribam (1986). The whole brain is involved in emotional experience and expression. Each part of the brain is specifically responsible for the sensing and control of body and neural events. It is in this regulation of brain and body states that lay emotions. Regulation is achieved through both neural conduction, and neurochemical/hormonal actions.
  • Pankseep (1982). Emotions are 'translimbic' sensory-motor command (executive) systems.

  • Editor: Jean-Marc Fellous.

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