- Series: Series in Affective Science
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 30, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 019517805X
- ISBN-13: 978-0195178050
- Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions (Series in Affective Science) 1st Edition
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"It is an invaluable reference for any neuroscientist interested in understanding the neurobiological basis of drives and emotions where the best information is contained in the animal literature. This is the strength of Panksepp's book which summarizes and references these data around clinically recognizable concepts making the information highly relevant to practicing clinicians." --Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
"Jaak Panksepp presents a synopsis of animal research on emotion together with stimulating new ideas on the role and representation of emotion in humans and other mammals. It seemed clear to me that Panksepp's affective neuroscience can provide a valuable foundation to emotion research. These are not entirely new ideas, but by presenting them in a comprehensive text on the neuroscience of emotion, Panksepp constructs a strong defense against the not uncommon view that emotions are 'illusionary concepts outside the realm of scientific enquiry.' For this reason alone, Panksepp is to be congratulated. This is a powerful text that will make a lasting impression on emotion research in general. Panksepp has provided a much-needed review of the animal literature, together with fascinating new ideas on the nature of affective consciousness." -- Andy Calder, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK
About the Author
Jaak Panksepp is at Medical College of Ohio at Toledo.
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While we never had our discussion sessions about it...I'm grateful I got this book and have it in my library.
A special book.
Fortunately the understanding of the neurobiology of emotion has taken enormous strides in recent years. Jaak Panksepp, long regarded as one of the leaders in the field, gives us a wonderfully readable account of some of the neurological machinery that helps organize emotion in ALL mammals. For it is becoming clear that emotion is present in every mammal so far studied: even mice show evidence of emotion.
Panksepp includes discussion of arousal and of sleep: this one is of particular importance in the light of the increasing body of clinical work indicating that many mood disorders are secondary to disturbances of sleep, rather than sleep disorders being a consequence of mood disorders. He goes on to discuss systems involved in pleasure and fear, the sources of some forms of anger and rage. He is very good on the neural control of sexuality in animals, as well as the subtle emotions involved maternal care, social loss, and playfulness. The importance of these neurological systems in human beings remains an open question: humans are so astonishingly complex and have so many "extra" dimensions on their behavioral actions, that it is probably unwise to try and reduce these complex behaviors to the firing of groups of neurons.
This focus on the neurobiology of affect is welcome, though it is valuable to remember that emotion can also be conceptualized as irreducible psychological and social functions.
Although this book is eight years old, it remains an excellent foundation and context in which to place more recent books and papers.
The book is broken up into three main sections. The first section offers a general conceptual background (including a nice review of relevant neuroanatomy, neurochemistry and neurophysiology), along with an outline of a coherent research strategy. Panksepp calls for a research program that unites behavioral, cognitive/psychological and neuroscientific approaches in the study of mind. While the subject of emotion is capable of being approached from several different levels of analysis, he holds that the brain-systems level represents a `gold standard'. Thus the majority of research presented in "Affective Neuroscience" has been gathered from animal research utilizing brain stimulation (electrical and chemical), as well as lesion studies. Relevant data from human experiments is also presented. One of the major advantages of animal experiments is that they permit for the use of invasive techniques and thus for causal links to be established as opposed to the correlational nature of human imaging studies. Also, given the largely sub-neocortical nature of emotional processes and the remarkable prevalence of evolutionary homologues in the ancient divisions of the neuro-axis (homologues in neuroanatomy as well as in neurochemistry), generalizations can often be made from other mammals to humans.
Panksepp takes the not-so-controversial point of view that emotional packages are evolutionarily derived operating systems with their own intrinsic forms of organization. The kinds of environmental challenges faced by our mammalian ancestors (e.g., the need to avoid threats, to seek out mates) necessitated very specific modifications of the nervous system and the `discovery' of basic `emotion organ systems' via the blind algorithmic processes of natural selection. Panksepp feels that adequate neuroanatomical, neurochemical and neurophysiological knowledge has been obtained to substantiate the delineation of several fundamental emotional operating systems (covered in the rest of the book): SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR and PANIC, along with the more pro-social circuits of LUST, CARE and PLAY. Most of these circuitries are hierarchically situated in brainstem, paleocortical and limbic areas. The identified emotional circuits have central integrating functions capable of recruiting and modulating various perceptual and cognitive resources `above' and visceral motor outputs `below'; they coordinate the full `orchestra' of emotional responses. Once activated each of these modules includes specific behavioral tendencies, modes of cognitive processing and subjective tone. The subjective tone represents a primodial form of consciousness that maps the relation between the self and the environment.
Panksepp insists that this ancient affective consciousness is not just a simple epiphenomenon of neural activity (i.e., not just froth) but that it has a definite functional role. He sees the importance of this affective experiential dimension as providing the organism with a kind of coding system (e.g., it codes objects/events as either biologically useful or harmful)which assists in the maintenance and calibration of long term behavioral strategies. For instance, he uses the example of how the subjective experience of the color red in primates is not just an epiphenomenon but that it actively controls behavior in so far as the color red can be used as a means of judging the ripeness of fruit.
In emphasizing the importance of these raw feels Panksepp takes a position that is contrary to majority opinion; many investigators view animals as automata and although they readily grant that they are fully capable of emotional expression they are more hesitant about granting them internal emotional experience. The point of contention is where to place affective experience along the vertical dimension of the neuro-axis. While some investigators (e.g., LeDoux, Damasio) essentially hold that elaboration of the phenomenological feel of emotional states does not occur below telencephalic areas, Panksepp claims that these `primary-process' raw feeling states are organized at midbrain levels.
While some portions of the book are highly speculative, Panksepp generally acknowledges this. The only way for a young science to progress is by being speculative and Panksepp proves himself to be an original thinker. One would think that this book provides a lot of useful information for evolutionary psychological theories . It approaches the themes explored by evolutionary psychology from a brain science perspective rather than from the cognitive/computational perspective. There are also plenty of clinical implications as Panksepp explores the way in which the major emotional circuitries can become dysregulated in psychiatric disorders. There are also interesting links with other theorists - for example, much like Damasio, Panksepp stresses the importance of the brain's body maps in the foundation of consciousness. An updated version of the text would be welcome.