Cognition, motivation, emotion and action: a dynamic and vulnerable interdependence

Toates, Frederick (2004). Cognition, motivation, emotion and action: a dynamic and vulnerable interdependence. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 86(3-4) pp. 173–204.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2004.02.010

Abstract

A model of the interactive processes of cognition, motivation, emotion and action selection is proposed. Building on earlier theoretical models, it is argued that behaviour is determined by a combination of 'on-line' direct controls and 'off-line' cognitive controls. These result in different modes of behavioural control exhibiting different behavioural properties. Certain similar changes over phylogeny and ontogeny can be observed in terms of an altered relative weight between these controls. Under natural conditions, adaptation can be served by a change of weight between different levels of control as a function of circumstances. It is suggested that under abnormal conditions, e.g. in certain domestic environments, the change in weight of control can be such as to lead to behavioural pathology. Conversely, by a focus on different levels of control, the model can also give indications of good welfare practice.

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