We suggest a united concept of consciousness and emotion, based on the systemic cognitive neuroscience perspective regarding organisms as active and goaldirected. We criticize the idea that consciousness and emotion are psychological phenomena having quite diff erent neurophysiological mechanisms. We argue that both characterize a unifi ed systemic organization of behavior, but at diff erent levels. All systems act to achieve intended behavioral results in interaction with their environment. Diff erentiation of this interaction increases during individual development. Any behavioral act is a simultaneous realization of systems ranking from the least to the most diff erentiated. We argue that consciousness and emotion are dynamic systemic characteristics that are prominent at the most and least diff erentiated systemic levels, correspondingly. These levels are created during development. Our theory is based on both theoretical and empirical research and provides a solid framework for experimental work.
Alexandrov, Y.I. Emotion and Consciousness: Ends of a Continuum / Y.I. Alexandrov, M.E. Sams // Psychology in Russia: State of the Art. – 2009. – Т. 2. – P. 143-186