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Panksepp, J. (2013). Toward an Understanding of the Constitution of Consciousness through the Laws of Affect. Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):62-65.

(2013). Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):62-65

Toward an Understanding of the Constitution of Consciousness through the Laws of Affect Related Papers

Commentary by Jaak Panksepp

Abundant evidence, often ignored in discussions of cognitive consciousness, is that raw affective experiences arise from diverse subcortical emotional, motivational (body homeostatic), and primal sensory systems (e.g., taste and smell). These primary-process affective systems that generate diverse types of valenced feelings may not be well described by the common synonym for consciousness called “awareness,” which is a better descriptor for higher forms of consciousness—namely, knowing that you experience. What a subcortical affective consciousness offers for our understanding of the mind is a primal form of phenomenal experience, which may be the foundation for the rest of the mind. From a neuropsychoanalytic perspective, Mark Solms advances a thesis for understanding the ancestral sources of mind that is consistent with data on cross-species emotional systems of all mammalian brains.

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