Chapter 2 Emotional circuits of the mammalian brain. Implications for biological psychiatry

Evidence for basic brain systems that mediate affective-emotional processes is summarized. The key to understanding the fundamental sources of human emotions lies in unraveling the nature of a variety of subcortical neurochemical circuits that mediate spontaneous emotional behaviors in animals: freezing and flight (for fear), separation distress vocalizations (for grief), fighting and biting (for anger), rough-and-tumble play (for joy), and appetitive approach and other anticipatory behaviors (for interest/expectancy). There are also basic brain circuits that generate various affective experiences, including male and female sexuality, dominance, and perhaps greed. These systems are modulated by a variety of nonspecific neurochemical systems, including acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which control arousal and attention. The arousal of specific emotions appears to be related more to discrete neuropeptide systems. Just as a detailed understanding of the former circuits served as a foundational pillar for the biological psychiatry of the past, new knowledge of how neuropeptide systems arouse distinct emotions will be a pillar for the biological psychiatry of the future. © 2000 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Evidence for basic brain systems that mediate affective-emotional processes is summarized. The key to understanding the fundamental sources of human emotions lies in unraveling the nature of a variety of subcortical neurochemical circuits that mediate spontaneous emotional behaviors in animals: freezing and flight (for fear), separation distress vocalizations (for grief), fighting and biting (for anger), rough-and-tumble play (for joy), and appetitive approach and other anticipatory behaviors (for interest/expectancy). There are also basic brain circuits that generate various affective experiences, including male and female sexuality, dominance, and perhaps greed. These systems are modulated by a variety of nonspecific neurochemical systems, including acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which control arousal and attention. The arousal of specific emotions appears to be related more to discrete neuropeptide systems. Just as a detailed understanding of the former circuits served as a foundational pillar for the biological psychiatry of the past, new knowledge of how neuropeptide systems arouse distinct emotions will be a pillar for the biological psychiatry of the future. © 2000 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Search