Emotion and decision making explained

ISBN : 9780199659890

Edmund T. Rolls
704 Pages
176 x 254 mm
Pub date
Oct 2013
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What produces emotions? Why do we have emotions? How do we have emotions? Why do emotional states feel like something? What is the relation between emotion, and reward value, and subjective feelings of pleasure? How is the value of a 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, and does rational multistep planning enable us to go beyond selfish genes to long-term plans and social contracts in the interests of the individual? This book seeks explanations of emotion and decision-making by considering these questions. The topics covered include: The nature of emotion, and a theory of emotion The functions of emotion, including a Darwinian theory of the adaptive value of emotion, which helps to illuminate many aspects of brain design and behaviour The brain mechanisms of emotion Affective states and motivated behaviour: hunger and sexual behaviour The pharmacology of emotion, and brain mechanisms for action Neuroeconomics, and the foundation of economic value Decision-making Emotional feelings, and consciousness Neural networks involved in emotion The book will be valuable for those in the fields of neuroscience and neurology, psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy


1. Introduction: The Issues
2. The Nature of Emotion
3. The Functions of Emotion: Reward, punishment, and emotion in brain design
4. The Brain Mechanisms Underlying Emotion
5. Food Reward Value, Pleasure, Hunger, and Appetite
6. Pharmacology of Emotion, Reward, and Addiction: The basal ganglia
7. Sexual Behaviour, Reward, and Brain Function: Sexual selection of behaviour
8. Decision-Making Mechanisms
9. Neuroeconomics and Decision-Making
10. Emotional Feelings and Consciousness: A theory of consciousness
11. Conclusions and Broader Issues
A. Neural Networks and Emotion-Related Learning
B. Decision-Making Models
C. Glossary
D. Colour Plates

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 acted 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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