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date: 19 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Recent theoretical and technological advances now allow for neuroscientifically relevant conceptualizations of motivation. Such models, grounded in solid evidence regarding evolutionary development and neuroanatomical organization and function, have the potential to improve the precision and scope of motivational concepts and theories, resolve theoretical disputes, and generate novel and testable behavioral hypotheses. Derived from evidence spanning three centuries of research, this chapter reviews one such approach based on the heterarchical organization of the central nervous system and its implications for motivational processes underlying approach and withdrawal. Through the utilization of this multilevel approach, theoretical and conceptual bridges are able to close many gaps between neuroscience and social psychology that have plagued integrative conceptualizations of behavior.

Keywords: motivation, motivational systems, neurobehavioral organization, central nervous system, evolutionary development

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