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Journal Article

Expressions of emotions across species


Zych,  Anna D.
IMPRS Translational Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Zych, A. D., & Gogolla, N. (2021). Expressions of emotions across species. CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY, 68, 57-66. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2021.01.003.

What are emotions and how should we study them? These questions give rise to ongoing controversy amongst scientists in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy, and have resulted in different views on emotions [1-6]. In this review, we define emotions as functional states that bear essential roles in promoting survival and thus have emerged through evolution. Emotions trigger behavioral, somatic, hormonal, and neurochemical reactions, referred to as expressions of emotion. We discuss recent studies on emotion expression across species and highlight emerging common principles. We argue that detailed and multidimensional analyses of emotion expressions are key to develop biology-based definitions of emotions and to reveal their neuronal underpinnings.