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Brain Computation as Hierarchical Abstraction$
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Dana H. Ballard

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028615

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028615.001.0001

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(p.349) 10 Emotions
Brain Computation as Hierarchical Abstraction

Dana H. Ballard

The MIT Press

Early thinking on the role of emotions in cognition sometimes characterized them as a liability, but the modern understanding the computational role of emotions places them at the centre of fast decision-making by using the body’s self-state inventory as a source of value judgement. Additionally it is necessary to appreciate that the emotional system has a very complex structure owing to its lengthy phylogenetic development history. Consequently the full emotional picture requires appreciating its different levels in a six-level abstraction hierarchy. Lower levels regulate basic body needs and drives. Higher levels reconcile the evaluation of the external world with internal body-centric ratings. The highest levels manage signalling and feelings.

Keywords:   Exteroception, Interoception, Triune Phylogeny, Facial Codes, Limbic System

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