Consciousness, Motivation, and Emotion

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This paper examines some nervous system mechanisms involved in consciousness, motivation, and emotion. We begin with preliminary thoughts on the relationships between various meanings of consciousness: having phenomenal experiences, being aware of objects and situations, and wakefulness. Then we look at a key issue in ‘emotional consciousness,’ specifically whether it is part of basic consciousness mechanisms or merely one ‘channel’ through which we have conscious content. At the end of the chapter are diagrams which present many of the brain-stem, sub-cortical and cortical areas referred to in the text. The diagrams of ‘your brain on numbers’ can be especially helpful in differentiating cortical areas.


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