Emotions are action-related feelings of positive or negative valence that are associated with approach or avoidance behaviors and neurophysiological changes. They are learned, innate, or a combination between the two; and they may be transient states such as fear, anger, or happiness; or they may be enduring moods such as depression. Basic knowledge about the neural underpinnings of emotion stems from several decades of animal research utilizing lesion, electrical stimulation, single cell recording, and pharmacological manipulation techniques. During recent years, functional neuroimaging has been applied to study normal and pathological emotions in humans. Together, these streams of research have contributed to the emergence of affective neuroscience (Davidson & Sutton, 1995).
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