Anatomy Of Mood Emotion And Thought

The neuroanatomic structures related to human mood, emotion, and thought function are complex, and research in this area is still under development. The association of various brain regions with particular functions is based primarily on studies of lesions and, more recently, on functional neuroimaging. Although generalizations based on these isolated cases are somewhat precarious, extended observations based on series of cases are somewhat more reliable. Additionally, although the findings of animal studies are highly reproducible, they do not necessarily apply to human behavior. [4 Early experiments on dogs and other animals demonstrated that decortication produced rage behavior when the animal was presented with previously nonthreatening stimuli. Later work in cats showed the importance of an intact diencephalon (thalamus and hypothalamus)

in eliciting this response. If these lower structures were also damaged, strong emotional displays were not elicited. Other experiments on the hypothalamus of the cat demonstrated that when certain areas were stimulated, marked behavioral alterations were produced, including not only behavioral displays but also concomitant physiological changes appropriate to the behavior. For example, the cat displayed piloerection and hissing and baring of teeth with associated elevations of blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.

Primary alterations in mood, emotion, and thought in humans have also been associated with abnormalities in certain regions of the brain and have primarily focused on the "limbic system'' and on the temporal lobe and the frontal lobes.

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