Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Levels of emotion and levels of consciousness

Carroll Izard a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.

Article author query
izard c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Merker makes a strong case for the upper brain stem as being the neural home of primary or phenomenal consciousness. Though less emphasized, he makes an equally strong and empirically supported argument for the critical role of the mesodiencephalon in basic emotion processes. His evidence and argument on the functions of brainstem systems in primary consciousness and basic emotion processes present a strong challenge to prevailing assumptions about the primacy of cognition in emotion-cognition-behavior relations.

(Published Online May 1 2007)