Approaches to Emotion

By Klaus R. Scherer; Paul Ekman | Go to book overview

1 Emotion: A Neurobehavioral Analysis

Karl H. Pribram Stanford University

Current scientific knowledge regarding the physiology of emotion has its roots in Galenical medicine. Four "humors"--sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic and melancholic-were considered to determine differences in temperament. The humors were believed to be organ secretions, and modern biomedical research has supplemented these primitives with a host of endocrine and exocrine hormones that even today must be seriously considered in any comprehensive treatment of the biological regulations that determine feelings of emotion and motivation.

In addition to the multiplication and specification of humors, several other major developements have occurred in the scientific study of the biology of emotions. The first of these developments points to the role of nonhumoral mechanisms in the emotional process: Lange's "visceral" theory made famous by William James ( 1890), and Nina Bull's "muscle" based attitude theory ( 1951) are probably the most important of these. Furthermore, brain mechanisms have been shown to be central to understanding emotions. The realization that the brain is involved in the experience and expression of emotions began with the work of Gall and Spurzheim ( 1809/ 1969), at the beginning of the 19th century, and achieved considerable sophistication by its end.

Currently, these developments have become enshrined in two central themes that can be identified in practically all biological approaches to emotion: One theme explores the relationship between visceral-glandular reactions and the brain in producing emotion; the other deals with the quantitative relationship between neural excitation and emotion. As we see later, these relationships, although substantial, by themselves form neither an adequate framework for understanding the complexities of emotional processes nor an outline for understanding the intricacies of the relevant neural apparatus. Nonetheless, they do

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Approaches to Emotion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xi
  • Questions About Emotion: An Introduction 1
  • References 7
  • 1: BIOLOGICAL APPROACH 9
  • 1: Emotion: A Neurobehavioral Analysis 13
  • References 34
  • 2: Hemispheric Asymmetry and Emotion 39
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 54
  • 3: Contributions from Neuroendocrinology 59
  • References 70
  • II DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACHES 73
  • 5: The Organization of Emotional Development 109
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 127
  • References 127
  • 6: Emotions in Infancy: Regulators of Contact and Relationships with Persons 129
  • Acknowledgments 154
  • III PSYCHOLOGICAL AND ETHOLOGICAL APPROACHES 159
  • 7: Affect Theory 163
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 194
  • References 194
  • 8: Emotions: A General Psychoevolutionary Theory 197
  • References 218
  • 9: Cognition, Emotion and Motivation: The Doctoring of Humpty-Dumpty 221
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 234
  • 10: The Interaction of Affect and Cognition 239
  • 11: Thoughts on the Relations Between Emotion and Cognition 247
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 255
  • References 255
  • 12: On Primacy of Affect 259
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 268
  • 13: A Perceptual Motor Theory of Emotion of Emotion 271
  • References 289
  • 4: On the Nature and Function of Emotion: A Component Process Approach 293
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 315
  • References 316
  • 15: Expression and the Nature of Emotion 319
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 340
  • 16: Animal Communication: Affect or Cognition? 345
  • Acknowledgments 363
  • References 363
  • IV SOCIOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLIGICAL APPROACHES 367
  • 17: Power, Status, and Emotions: A Sociological Contribution to A Psychophysiological Domain 369
  • References 381
  • 18: The Role of Emotion in Social Structure 385
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 396
  • References 396
  • 19: The Emotions in Comparative Perspective 397
  • References 411
  • Author Index 413
  • Subject Index 423
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