As pervasive and vital as they are in human experience, emotions have
long remained an enigma to science. This monograph explores recent
scientific advances that clarify central controversies in the study of
emotion, including the relationship between intellect and emotion,
and the historical debate on the source of emotional experience. Particular attention
is given to the intriguing body of research illuminating the critical role of
ascending input from the body to the brain in the generation and perception of
emotions. This discussion culminates in the presentation of a systems-oriented
model of emotion in which the brain functions as a complex pattern-matching
system, continually processing input from both the external and internal environments.
From this perspective it is shown that the heart is a key component
of the emotional system, thus providing a physiological basis for the long-acknowledged
link between the heart and our emotional life.