Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Reinforcement and punishment: Dissociable systems for action and emotion?

Simon Killcross a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom


Rolls presents a theory of emotion based on the premise that emotions are evoked by events that are capable of being instrumental reinforcers and punishers. As support for this theory is drawn almost entirely from experiments in non-human primates, valuable insights into the relationship between punishment and reinforcement systems, and the nature of instrumentality, may have been overlooked.