Emotion is often understood in terms of a circumscribed set of cortical and subcortical brain regions. I propose, instead, that emotion should be understood in terms of large-scale network interactions spanning the entire neuroaxis. I describe multiple anatomical and functional principles of brain organization that lead to the concept of 'functionally integrated systems', cortical-subcortical systems that anchor the organization of emotion in the brain. The proposal is illustrated by describing the cortex-amygdala integrated system and how it intersects with systems involving the ventral striatum/accumbens, septum, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and brainstem. The important role of the thalamus is also highlighted. Overall, the model clarifies why the impact of emotion is wide-ranging, and how emotion is interlocked with perception, cognition, motivation, and action.
Keywords: amygdala; brain; brainstem; emotion; networks; thalamus.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.