[Skip to Navigation]
February 1955


AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(2):138-140. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330080016006

THE CONTRIBUTORS of this symposium have all addressed themselves to the central mechanisms concerned with emotions, that is, to the nervous structure-functions involved in feelings. Since these mechanisms can be observed only indirectly in the intact human being, they are studied more easily in experimental animals. There immediately arises the question of the applicability of the results to the phenomena of human emotional processes, which are conscious, referred to self, and reportable. To this, I shall refer later.

Perhaps by intent, the four essayists have chosen to consider three levels of neural activity organizationally related to one another and each possessing varying degrees of integration, but all concerned with action aspects of feelings. These, then, constitute a continuum concerned in some manner with anxiety as a signal of danger, with anger or flight as a reaction to real danger, and with internal disequilibrium or disorganization from strains of various types.