Approaches to Emotion

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

3 Contributions from Neuroendocrinology

Peter Whybrow Dartmouth Medical School

The perspective that I bring to this volume is that of the psychopathologist. For several years, my major research interest has been the abnormal mood states of depression (Melancholia) and elation (mania). I have focused upon the psychobiology of these states with a particular emphasis upon the neuroendocrinology, especially the modulating influence of thyroid metabolism on the behavioral and biological phenomena observed. Although one might reasonably conclude from this that my interest in emotion is dangerously esoteric, I believe that the underlying psychobiologic principles which serve to organize my thinking plus some of the details of my particular work suggest a useful contribution to the study of emotion. Here, in this general overview, I draw together the elements of the philosophical roots of my perspective, provide some general background in concepts of central nervous system and endocrine function, and discuss briefly steroid metabolism in affective illness. Finally, I outline a postulate that thyroid metabolism is an important modulator of mood and disorders of mood.


SOME WORKING DEFINITIONS

Affective state is a term in common parlance among psychopathologists. It tends to be used interchangeably with the generic terms feeling and emotion. When an affective disorder is referred to, however, the major focus is upon the emotions of elation and despair--these being central features of the disease syndrome. An emotion sustained in time is considered a mood. If of sufficient quantitative change or sustained over a sufficient time period, despite environmental changes that make it inappropriate, the mood is considered pathologic.

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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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