The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)

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W. W. Norton & Company, Sep 17, 2012 - Psychology - 592 pages
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What makes us happy? What makes us sad? How do we come to feel a sense of enthusiasm? What fills us with lust, anger, fear, or tenderness? Traditional behavioral and cognitive neuroscience have yet to provide satisfactory answers. The Archaeology of Mind presents an affective neuroscience approach—which takes into consideration basic mental processes, brain functions, and emotional behaviors that all mammals share—to locate the neural mechanisms of emotional expression. It reveals—for the first time—the deep neural sources of our values and basic emotional feelings.

This book elaborates on the seven emotional systems that explain how we live and behave. These systems originate in deep areas of the brain that are remarkably similar across all mammalian species. When they are disrupted, we find the origins of emotional disorders:

- SEEKING: how the brain generates a euphoric and expectant response

- FEAR: how the brain responds to the threat of physical danger and death

- RAGE: sources of irritation and fury in the brain

- LUST: how sexual desire and attachments are elaborated in the brain

- CARE: sources of maternal nurturance

- GRIEF: sources of non-sexual attachments

- PLAY: how the brain generates joyous, rough-and-tumble interactions

- SELF: a hypothesis explaining how affects might be elaborated in the brain

The book offers an evidence-based evolutionary taxonomy of emotions and affects and, as such, a brand-new clinical paradigm for treating psychiatric disorders in clinical practice.


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I read this as a laywoman and found it very well written and informative. I did wonder why Freud's theory of the polymorphous perverse phase in young children couldn't be considered at least partly pre-sexual -- i.e., stimulated by breast feeding, visual stimuli, being bathed, dressed etc. Also very young children can fall in love or become fixated on another child or person. It isn't sexualized in the child but it is quite evident and may contribute to child molesting incidents. I remember once watching a toddler sitting on her father's foot as he swung her up and down. She was clearly having some kind of sexual experience. 


Chapter 9
Ancestral Passions 1
Brain Sources
The Ancestral Sources of RAGE
The Ancestral Roots of FEAR
Learning and
The CARE System
Brain Emotional Systems and Affective

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About the author (2012)

Jaak Panksepp, PhD, was the Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, emeritus Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, and the Head of Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics.

Lucy Biven trained at the Anna Freud Centre in London, and has served as Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at the Leicestershire National Health Service in England. She is currently a reader for the Journal of Neuropsychoanalysis.

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