David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 21 (6):739 - 757 (2008)
LeDoux (1996) has identified a sub-cortical neural circuit that mediates fear responses in rats. The existence of this neural circuit has been used to support the claim that emotion is a non-cognitive process. In this paper I argue that this sub-cortical circuit cannot have a role in the explanation of emotions in humans. This worry is raised by looking at the properties of this neural pathway, which does not have the capacity to respond to the types of stimuli that are generally taken to trigger emotion responses. In particular, the neurons in this pathway cannot represent the stimulus as a complete object or event, rather they represent the simple information that is encoded at the periphery. If it is assumed that an object or event in the world is what, even in simple cases, causes an emotion, then this sub-cortical pathway has limited use in a theory of emotion.
|Keywords||Emotion Fear LeDoux|
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References found in this work BETA
G. Bush, P. Luu & M. I. Posner (2000). Cognitive and Emotional Influences in Anterior Cingulate Cortex. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (6):215-222.
Joseph E. Ledoux (1989). Cognitive-Emotional Interactions in the Brain. Cognition and Emotion 3 (4):267-289.
Jesse J. Prinz (2004). Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of the Emotions. Oxford University Press.
Jenefer Robinson (2005). Deeper Than Reason: Emotion and its Role in Literature, Music, and Art. Clarendon Press.
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