The Psychobiology of Affective Development

By Nathan A. Fox; Richard J. Davidson | Go to book overview

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Neuroanatomical and Neurochemical Substrates of Affective Behavior

Ann E. Kelley Louis Stinus Universite de Bordeaux France

Is emotion a magic product, or is it a physiologic process which depends on an anatomic mechanism?

-- J. W. Papez, 1937


INTRODUCTION

The study of affective or emotional behavior has evolved within several different disciplines. For example, ethologists, since Darwin's early studies on the expression of emotion, have been primarily interested in the affective behavior of animals, and the various species-specific social interactions which such behavior entails. In developmental and social psychology, emphasis is placed on behavioral development and expression of affect in humans. Physiological psychology, on the other hand, has traditionally taken the approach of studying what cerebral structures mediate "emotions" and "feelings." Even present-day psychiatry tends to view the psychopathology of affective behavior from separate perspectives: the psychodynamic, analytic school, and the approach of biological psychiatry, which considers the neural basis of psychiatric disorders.

Although these fields of study and investigation have developed along different lines, in recent years questions have been posed which necessitate more interdisciplinary approaches; for example, how can stages of neural development be correlated with development of behavior? Can the phenomenological profile of schizophrenia or mania be somehow reproduced in animals? Interest in neural substrates has expanded and has undoubtedly become relevant to a broader range of researchers. The aim of the present chapter is to present an overview of what is

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