The Autonomic Nervous System and Emotion

Emotion Review 6 (2):100-112 (2014)


In many evolutionary/functionalist theories, emotions organize the activity of the autonomic nervous system and other physiological systems. Two kinds of patterned activity are discussed: coherence, and specificity. For each kind of patterning, significant methodological obstacles are considered that need to be overcome before empirical studies can adequately test theories and resolve controversies. Finally, links that coherence and specificity have with health and well-being are considered.

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