Dear Self Interested Ontologists,
This is a post from another newsgroup
which I think demonstrates how basic the emotional drives (i. e. self interest)
are. Even simple animals have them, as has often been denied in the
literature, but which is clarified in this post.
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
From: Discussion Group
for Psychology and the Arts [mailto:PSYART@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Norman Holland
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012
Subject: Emotions in animals
These are important
findings from the father of "affective neuroscience," Jaak
Panksepp. As every pet owner knows, cats and dogs have emotions.
But which and how? What's particularly intriguing is the idea that there
is a certain finite number of focal emotions.
PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e21236. Epub 2011 Sep 7.
of Veterinary & Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology College
of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington,
United States of America.
The issue of whether other animals have internally felt experiences has vexed
animal behavioral science since its inception. Although most investigators
remain agnostic on such contentious issues, there is now abundant
experimental evidence indicating that all mammals have negatively and
positively-valenced emotional networks concentrated in homologous brain
regions that mediate affective experiences when animals are emotionally
aroused. That is what the neuroscientific evidence indicates. PRINCIPAL
FINDINGS: THE RELEVANT LINES OF EVIDENCE ARE AS FOLLOWS: 1) It is easy to
elicit powerful unconditioned emotional responses using localized electrical
stimulation of the brain (ESB); these effects are concentrated in ancient
subcortical brain regions. Seven types of emotional arousals have been
described; using a special capitalized nomenclature for such primary process
emotional systems, they are SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF and PLAY.
2) These brain circuits are situated in homologous subcortical brain regions
in all vertebrates tested. Thus, if one activates FEAR arousal circuits in
rats, cats or primates, all exhibit similar fear responses. 3) All
primary-process emotional-instinctual urges, even ones as complex as social
PLAY, remain intact after radical neo-decortication early in life; thus, the
neocortex is not essential for the generation of primary-process
emotionality. 4) Using diverse measures, one can demonstrate that animals
like and dislike ESB of brain regions that evoke unconditioned instinctual
emotional behaviors: Such ESBs can serve as 'rewards' and 'punishments' in
diverse approach and escape/avoidance learning tasks. 5) Comparable ESB of
human brains yield comparable affective experiences. Thus, robust evidence
indicates that raw primary-process (i.e., instinctual, unconditioned)
emotional behaviors and feelings emanate from homologous brain functions in
all mammals (see Appendix S1), which are regulated by higher brain regions.
Such findings suggest nested-hierarchies of BrainMind affective processing,
with primal emotional functions being foundational for secondary-process
learning and memory mechanisms, which interface with tertiary-process
cognitive-thoughtful functions of the BrainMind.
Free PMC Article
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2011 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of
of VCAPP, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA.
primal affects are intrinsic brain value systems that unconditionally and
automatically inform animals how they are faring in survival. They serve an
essential function in emotional learning. The positive affects index
"comfort zones" that support survival, while negative affects
inform animals of circumstances that may impair survival. Affective feelings
come in several varieties, including sensory, homeostatic, and emotional
(which I focus on here). Primary-process emotional feelings arise from
ancient caudal and medial subcortical regions, and were among the first
subjective experiences to exist on the face of the earth. Without them,
higher forms of conscious "awareness" may not have emerged in primate
brain evolution. Because of homologous "instinctual" neural
infrastructures, we can utilize animal brain research to reveal the nature of
primary-process human affects. Since all vertebrates appear to have some
capacity for primal affective feelings, the implications for animal-welfare
and how we ethically treat other animals are vast.
© 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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