Cross-species neuroaffective parsing of primal emotional desires and aversions in mammals

The primal motivational systems of all mammals are constituted of the evolved affective brain networks that gauge key survival issues. However, since progress in functional neuroscience has historically lagged behind conceptual developments in psychological science, motivational processes have traditionally been anchored to behavioral rather than neural and affective issues. Attempts to retrofit neuroaffective issues onto established psychological-conceptual structures are problematic, especially when fundamental evidence for primal affective circuits, and their neural nature, comes largely from animal research. This article provides a synopsis of our growing understanding of primary-process emotional systems of mammalian brains and minds, which provides a new empirically based infrastructure for higher levels of human theorizing. © 2013 The Author(s).

The primal motivational systems of all mammals are constituted of the evolved affective brain networks that gauge key survival issues. However, since progress in functional neuroscience has historically lagged behind conceptual developments in psychological science, motivational processes have traditionally been anchored to behavioral rather than neural and affective issues. Attempts to retrofit neuroaffective issues onto established psychological-conceptual structures are problematic, especially when fundamental evidence for primal affective circuits, and their neural nature, comes largely from animal research. This article provides a synopsis of our growing understanding of primary-process emotional systems of mammalian brains and minds, which provides a new empirically based infrastructure for higher levels of human theorizing. © 2013 The Author(s).

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