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Wright, J.S. Panksepp, J. (2012). An Evolutionary Framework to Understand Foraging, Wanting, and Desire: The Neuropsychology of the SEEKING System. Neuropsychoanalysis, 14(1):5-39.

(2012). Neuropsychoanalysis, 14(1):5-39

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An Evolutionary Framework to Understand Foraging, Wanting, and Desire: The Neuropsychology of the SEEKING System Related Papers

Jason S. Wright and Jaak Panksepp

The SEEKING system of mammalian brains needs to be understood from multiple scientific and clinical perspectives. SEEKING theory provides new neuropsychoanalytic perspectives for understanding the human mind and its behavioral and emotional disorders and considers dimensions of experience that have traditionally been subsumed under concepts such as “drives” and “motivations.” Historically these concepts became problematic because experimentalists and clinicians didn't quite know what they were speaking about, at least within the evolved dynamics of the mammalian BrainMind. Here, we briefly summarize the history of the field and build a framework to help us understand a variety of human experiences, with the hope of understanding and treating common human psychological problems—from a vast number of addictive urges to depressive despair. Our goal is to promote an understanding of a key form of human experience that resides in the nomothetic primary-process domain, which provides a fundamental substrate for the idiographic growth of individual minds toward both psychological disturbances and mental health. Concurrently, by considering the impact of the SEEKING system in psychological, psychiatric, neuroscientific, and psychoanalytic domains, we have sought to provide a clear vision of one key entry point for linking our animalian foundations to a better understanding of the higher aspects of human minds and the brain.

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