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The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0393705317 ISBN-10: 0393705315 Edition: 1st

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The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) + The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)
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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (September 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393705315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393705317
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Eloquently written, this brilliant text firmly incorporates laboratory animal research, as well as neuroscientific human studies, to plumb the recesses of the mammalian brain to expound our understanding of human emotionality. . . . This body of work reveals how basic mammalian emotions are shared amongst mammalian species, debunking the illusion of the uniqueness of human emotional experiences while aiding in our understanding of emotions, psychopathologies, and treatment capabilities.” (New Jersey Psychologist)

“Without any sense of exaggeration, this is a revolutionary book. The implications of its understanding of human nature are profound and they open the possibility of a new way of looking at ourselves – and other animals – that is solidly based on scientific method. . . . The Archaeology of Mind is required reading for anyone who wants an in-depth understanding of the affective core that we all share, and that is central to who we are.” (The APPPAH Newsletter)

“[O]ffers a very valuable updating of an essential, richly researched neuroscientific perspective on our emotional lives.” (Society of Analytical Psychology (UK))

“[A] successful overview of the affective systems . . . . [O]f interest not only to basic scientists interested in preclinical modeling but also to clinicians and clinical researchers interested in the neurobiology of addiction, emotional disorders, and novel pharmacological and psychosocial interventions.” (Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease)

“[W]ill appeal to anyone who seeks to understand the origins of our emotions and the mechanisms that tie our affective experiences to our behaviors. Clinicians and psychotherapists are an obvious potential audience. Panksepp and Biven . . . contend that an affective neuroscience perspective has a lot to offer to psychiatric research and practice. . . . [T]his text is accessible to a host of researchers trained in that theoretical tradition, including, but not limited to, the rapidly growing community of evolutionary psychologists across diverse academic disciplines. . . . [W]ould be appropriate reading for an advanced undergraduate course or a graduate seminar across the many disciplines that are now adopting neuroscientific methods of inquiry to study human psychology and behavior.” (PsycCritiques)

“Integrative, judicious, creative, welcoming of divergent perspectives, and very accessible, this is a grand synthesis and should be part of every library. . . . Essential. ” (CHOICE)

“[A]n exhaustive work, covering a neglected and often misunderstood field . . . . Nowhere else will you really find due diligence done on the non-conscious biases of humans and animals . . . . [E]ssential reading, not only to us as mind professionals, but to teachers, parents, personal and physical trainers and coaches. Emotions are still everything, and vital to understanding why we are what we are, and why we do and have done, everything in the past and now. An amazing buy.” (Metapsychology Online Reviews)

“The book will be of special interest to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, but it is also accessible to students, parents, educators, and animal behaviorists. ” (Book News Inc.)

“This is a highly original and exciting book. The vital distinction between eager anticipation and straightforward pleasure is only one among many of its important findings. The implications for clinical assessment and treatment, especially with depressed and cut-off patients, are profound.” (Anne Alvarez, PhD MACP, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic, London)

“Panksepp’s perspective on the continuity of animal and human minds has not received the attention it deserves. Here are the collected facts and the reasoning behind that compelling view. An indispensable volume. ” (Antonio Damasio, author of Self Comes to Mind, and David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and Director, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California)

“Immensely learned, consistently lucid, and truly groundbreaking. This book repeatedly elicited my ‘ahhhh, yes.’ For Panksepp and Biven, understanding the evolution of the brain holds the key to solving large-scale mysteries about how the brain works. Thus, they draw upon detailed comparisons of the behavior and functional anatomy in mammals, from rodents to humans. The upshot is a profoundly insightful theory, especially as it explains the complex relation between the subcortical platform of motivations, emotions, and automatic responses, and the evolutionary newcomer—the cortex— whose sophisticated contribution to control, evaluation and knowledge emerges as the brain learns and develops into maturity.” (Patricia Smith Churchland, Professor Emerita, University of California, San Diego)

“Jaak Panksepp is the most important theorist of mental life that I have read since Freud. The impact of his scientific contributions will be felt for decades to come. His findings—so lucidly introduced in this accessible book with Lucy Biven—herald a new Golden Age. They are almost bound to place 21st-century psychiatry on a whole new foundation. In these pages, the supposed chasm between mind and brain disappears before your eyes, the veil is lifted, and new vistas appear before you. These vistas are the future of the science of the mind.” (Mark Solms, editor of Freud’s Complete Works)

“This book has the capacity to integrate affective neuroscience into the consciousness of not only therapists, but also those interested in understanding depth motivation that sustains or pathologizes our every action and thought. It is a truly pioneering effort. Its deep truths about the origins of mind and feeling, and the implications for altering how we see ourselves over evolutionary time, connected to our fellow social mammals and birds, also has implications for how we treat our fellow travelers on this planet.” (Stuart Brown, MD, Founder and President, The National Institute for Play)

About the Author

Jaak Panksepp, PhD, is the Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, emeritus Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, and the Head of Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics.

Lucy Biven trained at the Anna Freud Centre in London, and has served as Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at the Leicestershire National Health Service in England. She is currently a reader for the Journal of Neuropsychoanalysis.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
It is also very well written and a pleasure to read.
Robert Wentworth
An accessible book on how underlying emotional affective systems drive our actions and behaviour.
Wilfried Rupieper
This work should stand as a landmark in both affective neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mark Waldman on October 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I would have to say that this is the most transformational book I've read in a decade. It consolidates Panksepp's 30 years of research on human and animal emotions, and supports similar studies as well. What you and I have been calling emotions would be better stated as feelings: conscious cognitive reflections of the emotional experiences that drive us to take action in the world.

The most important emotion is SEEKING, which I call the "desire/acquire" circuit in the brain. When we see, hear, taste, or experience something new, different, and interesting, lower brain functions wake us up and release dopamine, one of the main pleasure neurochemicals in the brain. This gives rise to consciousness (activity in specific parts of our frontal lobe) in all mammals, and perhaps even for birds and reptiles. Humans have larger frontal lobes, thus we have a wider range of conscious choices. This consciousness gives rise to secondary emotions that are more diverse than the primary emotions of SEEKING, CARING, FEAR, ANGER, LUST, PLAY/JOY and SADNESS, which Panksepp has meticulously mapped out in terms of brain structures, functions, and neurochemicals.

The most surprising emotion he documents is PLAY, without which animals and humans would not be able to develop cooperative social behavior and empathy. Fear, anger, and sadness have made it into popular literature with 50% accuracy, but SEEKING and PLAY have not been talked about much. SEEKING motivates us to take action, and PLAY gives us the skills to build thriving relationships with others. His summary of the nature of consciousness is brilliant, but be forewarned: there's a lot of scholarly material and academic research discussed here.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Sims on October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a psychology student, I found myself quite disenchanted with the current state of the various fields of psychology. The further a delved into the research and various models of consciousness produced over the last century, the less it made sense. It seemed that psychology was more of an art than a science - looking at men such as Freud, Skinner, and Pavlov, it appeared they took only the most perfunctory scientific foundations and applied them to their own creative speculations on how the mind functioned. Psychology appeared to be a sort of Frankenstein's monster, composed of soft science, personal philosophy, and wild guesses. Then I found out about Jaak Panksepp and his enormous body of research. Panksepp is a hard science researcher who has accumulated an enormous weight of evidentiary support for his revolutionary model of how the brain produces consciousness. This book is the culmination of decades of meticulous research done by one of the finest neuroscientists in the world. Panksepp's bottom-up, nested hierarchy model of consciousness represents a radical paradigm shift away from the half-truths provided by the "computational model" that had guided research in the field of neuroscience for the past century. This computational (or learning) model has never been experimentally validated and completely ignores the relevance of the brains subcortical primary process emotional circuitry. Panksepp has provided us with a unified theory of the mind that reintroduces emotions into the equation. I recommend this book to anyone with a burning desire to understand who they are and why they feel what they feel. Jaak Panksepp's research has changed the way I look at psychology, and when his model of consciousness replaces the computational model, Panksepp's work is going to change the world.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Wentworth on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a real mind changer. The best, most illuminating and scientific work on the fundamental cores of experience I have read in twenty years.
A classic of the the Revolution in Neuroscience at a deeper level than the Cognitive Model of the Mind.
It is also very well written and a pleasure to read.
Dr Robert Wentworth
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Burwell Dodd on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A BOOK ALL EDUCATED PEOPLE SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH. It is an account of the most important and paradigm changing research into the BrainMind ever written. Not an easy read because Professor Panksepp needed to include so much detail in a complex and interlinking field of study, but as he suggests, read it as a novel and an intellectual adventure, and you will find what he says jibes with how your BrainMind behaves and feels.
Beyond star rating.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. B. Volchan on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting overview of the author's life-time work in the field of affective neuroscience. It's reasonably accessible to the non-specialist, bringuing lots of interesting information and some intriguing ideas. However, the text is a bit convoluted and overly repetitive and too technical at times. It's also somewhat confused, nebulous and sloppy in its philosophical approaches and conclusions, sometimes giving too much credit to postmodernism and Freud, while at the same time supporting an objective and naturalistic approach to the study of emotions, consciousness and affection.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P Lang on January 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Although technical, this book is thought provoking and fits with my 25 years as a therapist. This book will serve as a turning point in understanding emotion.
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