The Psychobiology of Affective Development

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

7
Lateralization of Emotion: A Model and the Evidence
Marcel Kinsbourne
Brenda Bemporad
Behavioral Neurology
Behavioral Neurology
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center
Waltham, Massachusetts
Waltham, Massachusetts
Harvard University
City University of New York

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

We describe some component processes that contribute to emotional reactions and suggest their localization in brain and some ways in which they interact. We then review findings relating emotional processing to the integrity of particular cerebral areas in the light of this model. The model invokes anterior-posterior and lateral specialization of cerebrum. The posterior sector provides data necessary to maintain homeostasis. The anterior sector exerts control to stabilize as needed. The left sided data-control facility deals with external change and ongoing action; the right sided data-control facility deals with internal change interrupting action, and control of emotional arousal. We attempt to show that this model is consistent with the specialization of brain areas for emotional processing as inferred from findings on focally brain damaged, psychopathological and normal populations.

We propose that emotional experiences and expressions develop from the inevitable conflict between action and the inhibition of action in organisms with the capacity for learning and memory. The fundamental interrelatedness of these functions is implicit in the arguments of those who view infants as exhibiting primitive or prototypic emotional reactions, which in interaction with the environment and with maturation become increasingly discrete and differentiated in an adaptive fashion. For example, see Table 7.1 adapted from Plutchik ( 1970, p. 11), which we have organized to illustrate how his prototypic adaptive functions can be appreciated as an action-approach and inaction-avoid dichotomy. We have arranged these in the approximate order in which the human becomes capable of expressing these behaviors and, presumably, experiencing these affects.

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