- 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,085 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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Top customer reviews
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.
In any case, the analogy regarding brain as the computer is fine; but as the author himself acknowledges, it can only go so far; if we remember how the human body was a complicated plumbing marvel in past centuries. Based on that analogy, first I expected the author to pretty-much give us the machine language of emotions in terms of electrochemical signals in the brain; but I did not quite find that. Nevertheless, I found the book to be very informative regarding the origin and nature of emotions visa vies the brain.
One part that impressed me most was on SELF, defined in capital letters as a special term in Chapter 16. As I read that chapter, I was particularly awestruck with the last paragraph on page 310 of the paperback edition... Consider the excerpt:
.. FEAR circuits may push the SELF-schema into an "up-tight" shivery state of tension...
Un-relatedly directly (!), this part brought to my mind a chase and teasing of a blue-crab on what we call now the beautiful beloved buckroe beach in Virgina. After being chased for a few minutes, the crab assumed an 'upright fighting position', whereby I had to give up then and there... Who is to say this blue crab did not have self-awareness or consciousness comparable to ours? There are numerous claims and conjectures in the book regarding this, as well as, important emotions like FEAR and RAGE.
Naturally, I am not in a position to evaluate Jaak's various scientific claims in neurobiology; however, I do agree very much with his tone of the criticism of scientific community in his field. After all, I am very critical of scientific establishment myself; including what I call 'quantum hoaxers'.
In the meantime, I wanted to note here how profound this information is and recommend it to all curious students.
I also want to note that what this book lacks in terms of an explicit scientific philosophical foundation can be found in the work of Mario Bunge, especially his Chasing Reality as well as Matter and Mind. Learning a proper system of philosophy before reading this book makes it all the more enjoyable.
In addition, it is a pleasure to look forward to reading the more recent book by Panksepp.
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