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Panksepp, J. (2001). Response to Ongoing Discussion (Vol. 1, No. 1) by Jaak Panksepp. Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(1):75-81.

(2001). Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(1):75-81

Response to Ongoing Discussion (Vol. 1, No. 1) by Jaak Panksepp

Jaak Panksepp

My apologies for the delay in responding to all the interesting comments directed at material presented in the first issue of Neuro-Psychoanalysis. I was still waiting for the last of the promised commentaries, but the editors finally suggested that I proceed without it. So let me simply take the various comments in the chronological order they were submitted. Commentators elaborated on a remarkable number of interesting points, but because of the massive time constraints that most of us feel during these electronically liberated/ imprisoned days, I will only address issues that were rather directly pertinent to my own comments (although at times I could not resist elaborating on some others). Indeed, the majority of comments were not directly related to my own remarks, so the editors may wish to add comments of their own.

Comment by Howard Shevrin (Vol. 1, No. 2)

Howard Shevrin raised the important issue of how we might distinguish motivation and affect, with the suggestion that I may have conflated them a bit too much. He suggests that my so-called SEEKING system has a kind of amorphous affect state with a certain indefinable oomph and continues that this does not seem to be the way Berridge and Robinson (1995) describe the craving system they have identified and which Panksepp uses as a basis for his SEEKING system (p. 247). First, let me clarify that my views, which in fact antedate theirs by at least a dozen years, were first summarized in papers in 1981, 1982, and 1986 (indeed the first attempt to publish this perspective of the brain “reward/reinforcement system” was submitted to Psychological Reviews in 1977 and soundly rejected for being ‘just-so’ neuro-psychologizing”).

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