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Panksepp, J. (2005). Commentary on “Becoming Aware of Feelings”. Neuropsychoanalysis, 7(1):40-55.

(2005). Neuropsychoanalysis, 7(1):40-55

Commentary on “Becoming Aware of Feelings” Related Papers

Jaak Panksepp

On the Primal Nature of Affective Consciousness: What are the Relations Between Emotional Awareness and Affective Experience?

Prefatory note: This commentary has been revised after extensive discussions with Richard Lane. Coming from somewhat different intellectual-research traditions, my original commentary contained various misunderstandings of their position, and their paper of mine. We enjoyed some detailed discussion about various disagreements before we were finally on the same page. Through our private discussions, we have reached a better understanding of the different ways we use some concepts and have resolved some disagreements that prevented us from seeing eye to eye. By agreement with Lane and Garfield, I will be happy to provide an electronic version of that text to interested readers ( This can provide an extended subtext that can allow readers to appreciate the conceptual complexities that all too often make productive communication across disciplinary boundaries a challenge. It may serve as a model for how needless controversy can be reduced without losing substantive issues that need to be discussed further.

Lane & Garfield provide a wide-ranging critical analysis of the importance of emotional awareness in psychiatric and psychoanalytic practice. They summarize their important psychometric tools to monitor the degree of emotional self-awareness and the brain changes that accompany mild states of emotional arousal. Their work highlights the importance of humans becoming cognitively aware of their affective states, and the utility of this information for clinical practice.

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