The Brain, Emotion, and Depression

ISBN : 9780198832249

Edmund T. Rolls
336 Pages
168 x 240 mm
Pub date
Jul 2018
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There are myriad questions that emerge when one considers emotions and decision-making: What produces emotions? Why do we have emotions? How do we have emotions? Why do emotional states feel like something? What is the relationship between emotion, reward value, and subjective feelings of pleasure? How is the value of 'good' represented in the brain? Will neuroeconomics replace classical microeconomics? How does the brain implement decision-making? Are gene-defined rewards and emotions in the interests of the genes? Does rational multistep planning enable us to go beyond selfish genes to plans in the interests of the individual?

The Brain, Emotion, and Depression addresses these issues, providing a unified approach to emotion, reward value, economic value, decision-making, and their brain mechanisms. The evolutionary, adaptive value of the processes involved in emotion, the neural networks involved in emotion and decision making, and the issue of conscious emotional feelings are all considered.

The book will be valuable for those in the fields of neuroscience, neurology, psychology, psychiatry, biology, animal behaviour, economics, and philosophy from the advanced undergraduate level upwards, and for all interested in emotion and decision-making.


1 Introduction: The Issues
2 The Nature of Emotion
3 The Function of Emotion: Reward, punishment, and emotion in brain design
4 The Brain Mechanisms Underlying Emotion
5 Food Reward Value, Pleasure, Appetite, Hunger, and Over-Eating
6 Pharmacology of Emotion, Reward, and Addiction: The basal ganglia
7 Sexual Behaviour, Reward, and Brain Function
8 Decision-Making and Attractor Networks
9 Depression
10 Rational vs. Emotional Routes to Action and Consciousness
11 Conclusions and Broader Issues

About the author: 

Professor Edmund T. Rolls performs full-time research at the Oxford Centre for Computational Neuroscience, and at the University of Warwick, and has performed research and teaching for many years as Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, and as Fellow and Tutor of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His research links neurophysiological and computational neuroscience approaches to human functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies in order to provide a fundamental basis for understanding human brain function and its disorders.

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