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Motivation And Emotion



Early-stage romantic love can induce euphoria, is a cross-cultural phenomenon, and is possibly a developed form of a mammalian drive to pursue preferred mates. It has an important influence on social behaviors that have reproductive and genetic consequences. To determine which reward and motivation systems may be involved, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and studied 10 women and 7 men who were intensely "in love" from 1 to 17 mo. Participants alternately viewed a photograph of their beloved and a photograph of a familiar individual, interspersed with a distraction-attention task. Group activation specific to the beloved under the two control conditions occurred in dopamine-rich areas associated with mammalian reward and motivation, namely the right ventral tegmental area and the right postero-dorsal body and medial caudate nucleus. Activation in the left ventral tegmental area was correlated with facial attractiveness scores. Activation in the right anteromedial caudate was correlated with questionnaire scores that quantified intensity of romantic passion. In the left insula-putamen-globus pallidus, activation correlated with trait affect intensity. The results suggest that romantic love uses subcortical reward and motivation systems to focus on a specific individual, that limbic cortical regions process individual emotion factors, and that there is localization heterogeneity for reward functions in the human brain.




Motivation and Emotion



We often see motivation as something that stimulates a person to act and behave to achieve a desired goal, while emotion is the feelings that emerge from the motive or drive itself, from the actions caused by the motive and from the achievement or failure of the desired goal. However, there is more to motivation and emotion than this kind of relationship.


Theorists such as Thayer, Newman and McClain explained that emotion is related to motivation in such a way that human beings tend to execute things that we hope would lead to happiness, satisfaction and any other positive emotion at some degree. With this said, emotions could be viewed as a reward or punishment for a specific motivated behaviour.


Results: The PFC provides "top-down" regulation of attention, inhibition/cognitive control, motivation, and emotion through connections with posterior cortical and subcortical structures. Dorsolateral and inferior PFC regulate attention and cognitive/inhibitory control, whereas orbital and ventromedial structures regulate motivation and affect. PFC circuitries are very sensitive to their neurochemical environment, and small changes in the underlying neurotransmitter systems, e.g. by medications, can produce large effects on mediated function. Neuroimaging studies of children with neurodevelopmental disorders show altered brain structure and function in distinctive circuits respecting this organization. Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder show prominent abnormalities in the inferior PFC and its connections to striatal, cerebellar, and parietal regions, whereas children with conduct disorder show alterations in the paralimbic system, comprising ventromedial, lateral orbitofrontal, and superior temporal cortices together with specific underlying limbic regions, regulating motivation and emotion control. Children with major depressive disorder show alterations in ventral orbital and limbic activity, particularly in the left hemisphere, mediating emotions. Finally, children with obsessive-compulsive disorder appear to have a dysregulation in orbito-fronto-striatal inhibitory control pathways, but also deficits in dorsolateral fronto-parietal systems of attention.


Motivation and Emotion publishes theoretical papers and original research reports of either a basic or applied nature from any area of psychology and behavioral science, provided that the focus is on motivation and/or emotion. While the primary orientation of the journal is on human emotion and motivation, animal studies are also published, provided they are relevant to general motivation and/or emotion theory.


This special issue aims to contribute to the advancement of the study of emotion perspectives by showcasing the diversity of approaches and constructs that are being utilized by researchers in different sub-fields of psychology. Regardless of the specific research questions pursued, we encourage submissions in which investigators attempt to build conceptual and/or methodological bridges between more than one theoretical/terminological framework.


The topic of this chapter is affect, defined as the experience of feeling or emotion. Affect is an essential part of the study of psychology because it plays such an important role in everyday life. As we will see, affect guides behaviour, helps us make decisions, and has a major impact on our mental and physical health.


When we experience emotions or strong motivations, we feel the experiences. When we become aroused, the sympathetic nervous system provides us with energy to respond to our environment. The liver puts extra sugar into the bloodstream, the heart pumps more blood, our pupils dilate to help us see better, respiration increases, and we begin to perspire to cool the body. The stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine are released. We experience these responses as arousal.


An emotion is a mental and physiological feeling state that directs our attention and guides our behaviour. Whether it is the thrill of a roller-coaster ride that elicits an unexpected scream, the flush of embarrassment that follows a public mistake, or the horror of a potential plane crash that creates an exceptionally brilliant response in a pilot, emotions move our actions. Emotions normally serve an adaptive role: We care for infants because of the love we feel for them, we avoid making a left turn onto a crowded highway because we fear that a speeding truck may hit us, and we are particularly nice to Mandy because we are feeling guilty that we did not go to her party. But emotions may also be destructive, such as when a frustrating experience leads us to lash out at others who do not deserve it.


Motivations are closely related to emotions. A motivation is a driving force that initiates and directs behaviour. Some motivations are biological, such as the motivation for food, water, and sex. But there are a variety of other personal and social motivations that can influence behaviour, including the motivations for social approval and acceptance, the motivation to achieve, and the motivation to take, or to avoid taking, risks (Morsella, Bargh, & Gollwitzer, 2009). In each case we follow our motivations because they are rewarding. As predicted by basic theories of operant learning, motivations lead us to engage in particular behaviours because doing so makes us feel good.


Motivations are similar to emotions in that they also serve to define the relation between the individual and the environment (Roseman, 2008), but differ from emotions in being more tightly linked to action and explicit goal associations; motivated action can be thought of as behavior that is at least partly determined by a desired and hedonically laden end-state (i.e., it is goal-directed). Pessoa (2009) suggests that motivation can be commonly defined as what makes one work to obtain reward or to avoid punishment. Similarly, Roseman (2008) proposes that a motivation is an internal state producing behavior which moves the individual toward desirable reference values or away from undesirable reference values.


A primary focus of neuroscience studies on motivation and cognitive control has been to demonstrate that these two processes are integrated within specific brain regions, such as the lateral PFC. Early work involving single-unit recording in primates demonstrated that task-related neuronal activity in PFC was modulated by the expected reward value associated with performance (Watanabe, 1996; Leon and Shadlen, 1999; Watanabe et al., 2002). In one compelling demonstration, it was found that reward value directly enhanced the fidelity of active maintenance in working memory (Leon and Shadlen, 1999). More recent fMRI studies carried out in humans have used designs that orthogonally manipulate cognitive control demand and motivational value across a range of task domains, including working memory (Pochon et al., 2002; Taylor et al., 2004), context processing (Locke and Braver, 2008; Kouneiher et al., 2009), task-switching (Savine and Braver, 2010), and selective attention (Padmala and Pessoa, 2011). These studies have confirmed the presence of specific regions within lateral PFC (along with effects in other associated regions, such as the ACC) that are sensitive to the interaction of the two factors, consistent with a specific role in integrating motivational and cognitive control functions.


The DA system also plays a central role in accounts of both motivation and cognitive control. Dopamine has long been thought to be a critical component of motivation and reward processing (Wise and Rompre, 1989; Mirenowicz and Schultz, 1996; Robbins and Everitt, 1996; Schultz, 1998). More recent accounts have suggested that DA shows phasic, cue-triggered responses to specific events that indicate reward availability (Montague et al., 1996; Schultz et al., 1997) and/or high motivational salience (Berridge, 2007). This signal, particularly when a reward is different from anticipated (i.e., prediction error), may serve as a mechanism for reward-based associative learning (Schultz et al., 1997; Schultz, 2002; Arias-Carrion and Poppel, 2007). While the role of dopamine as a learning versus salience signal in reward has been debated (Berridge, 2007), both kinds of accounts are compatible with the idea of phasic DA involvement in processing motivational incentives and thus consistent with our account. Additionally, a separate theoretical account has emphasized that the motivational utility of the current environmental context might be reflected in tonic, rather than phasic, DA activation (Niv et al., 2007). Together, these accounts suggest DA activity will be increased both by transient cues and sustained contexts that indicate high reward or motivational value. 041b061a72


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