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Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova. 1997 Mar-Apr;47(2):320-8.

[The brain mechanisms of emotions].

[Article in Russian]


At the 23rd International Congress of Physiological Sciences (Tokyo, 1965) the results of experiment brought us to a conclusion that emotions were determined by the actual need and estimation of probability (possibility) of its satisfaction. Low probability of need satisfaction leads to negative emotions actively minimized by the subject. Increased probability of satisfaction, as compared to the earlier forecast, generates positive emotions which the subject tries to maximize, that is to enhance, to prolong, to repeat. We named our concept the Need-Informational Theory of Emotions. According to this theory, motivation, emotion and estimation of probability have different neuromorphological substrate. Activating by motivatiogenic structures of the hypothalamus the frontal parts of neocortex orients the behavior to signals with a high probability of their reinforcement. At the same time the hippocampus is necessary for reactions to signals of low probability events, which is typical for emotionally excited brain. By comparison of motivational excitation with available stimuli or their engrams the amygdala selects a dominant motivation, destined to be satisfied in the first instance. In the cases of classical conditioning and escape reaction the reinforcement was related to involvement of the negative emotion's hypothalamic neurons while in the course of avoidance reaction the positive emotion's neurons being involved. The role of the left and right frontal neocortex in the appearance of positive or negative emotions depends on this informational (cognitive) functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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