The neuroevolutionary and neuroaffective psychobiology of the prosocial brain

Most of the complexities in cognition are probably not controlled by detailed genetics, but by the capacity of different species to see the world differently depending upon their perceptual strengths and learning abilities intermixing with the ancient genetic-instinctual tools for living. These cognition-emotion interactions notwithstanding, at their most basic level, core emotions are so ancient that it is scientifically wise to conceptualise them independently of cognition. In their raw form, they are innate tools for living. This article is concerned mainly with those core emotions that are the genetic endowments of the mammalian brain, homologous albeit not identical, in all mammals. It focuses on the core prosocial emotional systems of mammalian brains, at the expense of the higher cognitive functions with which they interact. Seven core emotional systems have been provisionally identified through empirically robust affective neuroscience strategies, such as evocation of coherent emotional responses by localised electrical stimulation of the brain. © Oxford University Press, 2007. All rights reserved.

Most of the complexities in cognition are probably not controlled by detailed genetics, but by the capacity of different species to see the world differently depending upon their perceptual strengths and learning abilities intermixing with the ancient genetic-instinctual tools for living. These cognition-emotion interactions notwithstanding, at their most basic level, core emotions are so ancient that it is scientifically wise to conceptualise them independently of cognition. In their raw form, they are innate tools for living. This article is concerned mainly with those core emotions that are the genetic endowments of the mammalian brain, homologous albeit not identical, in all mammals. It focuses on the core prosocial emotional systems of mammalian brains, at the expense of the higher cognitive functions with which they interact. Seven core emotional systems have been provisionally identified through empirically robust affective neuroscience strategies, such as evocation of coherent emotional responses by localised electrical stimulation of the brain. © Oxford University Press, 2007. All rights reserved.

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