Edmund T. Rolls

Emotion Explained

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Contents and Sample Chapter

These sample chapters are on Thirst and Brain-Stimulation Reward, topics not covered in Emotion and Decision-Making Explained (2014).

Emotion Explained
Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-857004-2

What produces emotions? Why do we have emotions? How do we have emotions? Why do emotional states feel like something? This book seeks explanations of emotion by considering these questions.

 'Emotion' continues to be a topic of enormous scientific interest. This new book, a successor to 'The Brain and Emotion', describes the nature, functions, and brain mechanisms that underlie both Emotion and Motivation.  Emotion Explained goes beyond examining brain mechanisms of emotion, by proposing a theory of what emotions are, and an evolutionary, Darwinian, theory of the adaptive value of emotion. It also shows that there is a clear relationship between motivation and emotion. The book also examines how cognitive states can modulate emotions, and in turn, how emotions can influence cognitive states. It considers the role of sexual selection in the evolution of affective behaviour. It also examines emotion and decision making, with links to the burgeoning field of neuroeconomics. The book is also unique in considering emotion at several levels - the neurophysiological, neuroimaging, neuropsychological, behavioural, and computational neuroscience levels.

 'Emotion Explained' will be valuable for those in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive neuroscience from advanced undergraduate level upwards. It will also be of interest to those in biology, animal behaviour, zoology, evolutionary biology, physiology, nutrition, psychiatry, medicine, and philosophy. The book has been written with modular chapters and sections, making it possible to select particular Chapters for course work.

 The topics covered include:

  • the nature of emotion, and a theory of emotion
  • the functions of emotion, including a Darwinian theory of the adaptive value of emotion, which helps to illuminate many aspects of brain design and behaviour 
  • the brain mechanisms of emotion
  • affective states and motivated behaviour: 
    • hunger
    • thirst
    • sexual behaviour
  • brain-stimulation reward 
  • the pharmacology of emotion, and brain mechanisms for action
  • emotional feelings, and consciousness 
  • decision-making, and neuroeconomics
  • neural networks involved in emotion
The book was published on 8 September 2005