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Panksepp, J. (2014). Crossing the brain-mind rubicon: How might we scientifically understand basic human emotions and core affective feelings of other animals?. Neuropsychoanalysis, 16(1):39-44.

(2014). Neuropsychoanalysis, 16(1):39-44

Crossing the brain-mind rubicon: How might we scientifically understand basic human emotions and core affective feelings of other animals?

Jaak Panksepp

Future pre-clinical modeling of psychiatric disorders will need to take animal emotional feelings more seriously than in the past. In his target article, Myron Hofer summarizes a superb research program on the maternal regulation of infant physiologies, progressing toward a gradual opening of the Pandora's Box of animal affective phenomenal consciousness that may help guide development of new psychiatric treatments. In this commentary, I summarize my own long-term perspective on this critical issue, much neglected in modern behavioral neuroscience. We can indeed empirically study the primal emotional feelings of other animals because of the tight correspondence between deep-brain stimulation induced activation of emotional-instinctual behavior patterns, and the highly consistent rewarding and punishing properties of such induced states – which are evidence-based indicators of various positive and negative emotional feelings.

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