Jaak Panksepp's book (Amazon link here) is a phenomenal and highly readable systems-based introduction to not only affective neuroscience, but the neuroscience of motivation in general. The problem is that the book is fourteen years old (don't be fooled by the copyright from the Amazon link, which is for the softcover edition) which makes it from the ice age in neuroscience terms.

Is there a comparable but more modern reference? I am not a neuroscientist; even if I were, trying to assemble a corpus of journal papers would be a lengthy and redundant process; and even if I accomplished it, my hodgepodge primer would lack the larger synthesis that makes Panksepp's book so good.

Is there anything good that covers similar ground written in the last five years?

EDIT: It suddenly occurred to me that, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I could ask Jaak Panksepp directly. It turns out that his followup book, "Archeology of Mind", is indeed intended to be a kind of update and spiritual successor to "Affective Neuroscience." So the best followup to Panksepp will be the next book by Panksepp. Now if it would hurry up and get released...


I was about to recommend The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience, by Decety and Cacioppo (Oxford University Press, 2011) which has an entire part (10 chapters) dedicated to the neural basis of emotion regulation, motivation, and social interactions. However, I just noticed Panksepp's forthcoming book, The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions, which is probably worth to look at.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the Oxford Handbook suggestion. I'm sure the new Panksepp book will be good, but I hesitated to consider it a replacement as it seems to have a more popular-sciencey focus than the 1998 book, and it is about a third as long. (Although more searching now reveals an inconsistency in the book's page count; so maybe it will be more appropriate than I originally thought.) $\endgroup$ – shanusmagnus Feb 6 '12 at 14:59

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