This chapter identifies negative motivation as a determining factor of the priority given to different sensory inputs. It examines the extent of overlap with reward-oriented mechanisms, the possibility of opponent dynamics, and the similarity of the underlying (anticipatory versus synergistic) algorithms. The chapter presents earlier reports of automatic attention generated by potent emotional stimuli and suggests a reinterpretation with the concept of bias. Various studies prove that the mechanisms of fear conditioning stimulate neural plasticity and generate structural forms of bias. The chapter also presents notions from neuroeconomics and evolutionary psychology, and more psychodynamic explorations of fear and aversion.
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