Comparative Approaches in Evolutionary Psychology: Molecular Neuroscience Meets the Mind

Bernhard Fink bernhard.fink at aon.at
Mon Jan 13 14:28:42 EST 2003


Comparative Approaches in Evolutionary Psychology: Molecular
Neuroscience Meets the Mind

JAAK PANKSEPP, JOSEPH R. MOSKAL, JULES B. PANKSEPP, ROGER A. KROES

Neuroendocrinology Letters,2002; 23(suppl 4):105-115

Evolutionary psychologists often overlook a wealth of information
existing between the proximate genotypic level and the ultimate
phenotypic level. This commonly ignored level of biological
organization is the ongoing activity of neurobiological systems. In
this paper, we extend our previous arguments concerning strategic
weaknesses of evolutionary psychology by advocating a foundational
view that focuses on similarities in brain, behavior, and various
basic psychological features across mammalian species. Such an
approach offers the potential to link the emerging discipline of
evolutionary psychology to its parent scientific disciplines such as
biochemistry, physiology, molecular genetics, developmental biology
and the neuroscientific analysis of animal behavior. We detail an
example of this through our impending work using gene microarray
technology to characterize gene expression patterns in rats during
aggressive and playful social interactions. Through a focus on
functional homologies and the experimental analysis of conserved,
subcortical emotional and motivational brain systems,
neuroevolutionary psychobiology can reveal ancient features of the
human mind that are still shared with other animals. Claims
regarding evolved, uniquely human, psychological constructs should
be constrained by the rigorous evidentiary standards that are
routine in other sciences.

http://www.nel.edu/23_s4/NEL231002R11_Panksepp.htm









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