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Another neurological approach distinguishes two classes of emotion: "classical" emotions such as love, anger and fear that are evoked by environmental stimuli via distance receptors in the eyes, nose and ears;[1] and "homeostatic"[2] (or "primordial"[3]) emotions – imperious (attention-demanding) feelings such as pain, hunger and fatigue, evoked by internal body states communicated to the central nervous system by interoceptors,[3] that motivate behavior aimed at maintaining the body's internal milieu at its ideal state.[4]

Derek Denton defines the latter as "the subjective element of the instincts, which are the genetically programmed behaviour patterns which contrive homeostasis. They include thirst, hunger for air, hunger for food, pain and hunger for specific minerals etc. There are two constituents of a primordial emotion--the specific sensation which when severe may be imperious, and the compelling intention for gratification by a consummatory act."[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. Denton 2006, p. 10.
  2. Craig, A.D. (Bud) (2003). Interoception: The sense of the physiological condition of the body. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 13 (4): 500–505.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Derek A. Denton (8 June 2006). The primordial emotions: the dawning of consciousness, Oxford University Press.
  4. Craig, A.D. (Bud) (2008). "Interoception and emotion: A neuroanatomical perspective" Handbook of Emotion, 3, 272–288, New York: The Guildford Press. URL accessed 6 September 2009.
  5. Denton DA, McKinley MJ, Farrell M, Egan GF (June 2009). The role of primordial emotions in the evolutionary origin of consciousness. Conscious Cogn 18 (2): 500–14.

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