Jaak Panksepp – Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions (Series in Affective Science)

Some investigators have argued that emotions, especially animal emotions, are illusory concepts outside the realm of scientific inquiry. However, with advances in neurobiology and neuroscience, researchers are demonstrating that this position is wrong as they move closer to a lasting understanding of the biology and psychology of emotion. In Affective Neuroscience, Jaak Panksepp provides the most up to date information about the brain operating systems that organize the fundamental emotional tendencies of all mammals. Presenting complex material in a readable manner, the book offers a comprehensive summary of the fundamental neural sources of human and animal feelings, as well as a conceptual framework for studying emotional systems of the brain. Panksepp approaches emotions from the perspective of basic emotion theory but does not fail to address the complex issues raised by constructionist approaches. These issues include relations to human consciousness and the psychiatric implications of this knowledge. The book includes chapters on sleep and arousal, pleasure and fear systems, the sources of rage and anger, and the neural control of sexuality, as well as the more subtle emotions related to maternal care, social loss, and playfulness. Representing a synthetic integration of vast amounts of neurobehavioral knowledge, including relevant neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry, this book will be one of the most important contributions to understanding the biology of emotions since Darwins The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

Author: Jaak Panksepp
Narrator: Stanley Lippmans
Duration: 15 hours 12 minutes
Released: 30 Sep 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Language: English

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User Review:

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Panksepp makes major strides along the road suggested by o.e.wilson in consilience: unify the human science and “science” views of human nature. There is a lot of basic science, necessary and demanding. And there is a thorough exploration of the mutual blindness between psychologists, behaviourists and neuroscientists – which Panksepp tries to get to sit around a table and agree that only when all facets of the picture are looked at will we have a complete picture of how our mind and our emotions work together. And, while he takes great care not to appear deterministic of overly biological, he emphasises the need for the more nurture-oriented sciences to accept that they operate on a basis that we share with all mammals. Which does in no way lead to rubbishy “nature red in tooth and claw” views but rather elucidates how “human and humane” animal emotions are. Challenging and worthwhile!

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