Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science and
Physiology and Neuroscience (IPN), Washington State University
Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology,
Bowling Green State University
Head, Affective Neuroscience Research, Falk Center for Molecular
Therapeutics, Northwestern University
Phone: (509) 335-5803
Office: VBRB rm 111
EEGs (ERD analysis of Panksepp's brain emotional dynamics
Our present research is devoted to the analysis of the
neuroanatomical and neurochemical mechanisms of emotional behaviors (in
the emerging fields of affective and social neurosciences), with a focus
on understanding how various affective processes are evolutionarily
organized in the brain, and looking for linkages to psychiatric
disorders and drug addiction. We conduct research on brain "instinctual"
mechanisms of fear, anger, separation distress (panic), investigatory
processes an anticipatory eagerness, as well as rough-and-tumble play.
We are especially interested in how various brain neuropeptide systems
regulate emotional feelings and social bonds. Prior to the ongoing work
on emotional systems, we studied hypothalamic mechanisms of energy
balance control and neural regulation of sleep-waking states. In
addition to 300+ scientific articles (see CV, link below), I have
co-edited the multivolume Handbook of the Hypothalamus and of
Emotions and Psychopathology, a series in Advances in
Biological Psychiatry and a Textbook of Biological Psychiatry
(Wiley, 2004). My other textbook, Affective Neuroscience: The
Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions (Oxford, 1998), has helped
inaugurate a new field of inquiry which attempts to probe the affective
infrastructure of the mammalian brain.
Our working assumption is that all of consciousness was built on
affective value systems during the long course of brain evolution. In my
new book, The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of
Human Emotions (in press), I present these topics to a wider, more
general audience and include discussion of current research in affective
neuroscience. Our research orientation is that a detailed understanding
of basic emotional systems at the neural level will highlight the basic
sources of human values and the nature and genesis of emotional
disorders in humans. In the 1980s we helped developed the still
controversial opioid-antagonist therapy for autistic children based on
pre-clinical investigations into brain circuits that control social
as well as the use of melatonin in regulating common sleep-waking
problems in pervasive developmental disorder (http://legacy.autism.com/treatable/supplement/melatonin.htm).
We are pursuing new therapies for the treatment of Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD), and depression. Many of the
findings from animal models are ready to be evaluated in human
psychological research. Accordingly, we are seeking to facilitate the
development of new depth-psychological perspectives to understanding the
Our Center for the Study of Animal Well Being (http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-CSAW/)
and People-Pet Partnership Program (http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-pppp/),
are devoted to the study and improvement of animal emotional well-being.
Please see related story in
WSU Today for more biography of Dr. Panksepp
(See CV for complete list)
Panksepp, J. (2011). Empathy and the Laws of Affect.
Science, 334, 1358-1359.
Panksepp J, Burgdorf J. (2000). 50k-Hz chirping (laughter) in response
to conditioned and unconditioned tickle-induced reward in rats: effects
of social housing and genetic variables. Behavioral Brain Research,
Panksepp J, Burgdorf J, Gordon N, Turner C. (2003). Modeling ADHD-type
arousal with unilateral frontal cortex damage in rats and beneficial
effects of play therapy. Brain and Cognition 52: 97-105.
Panksepp J, Burgdorf J, Beinfeld MC, Kroes RA, Moskal JR. (2004).
Regional brain cholecystokinin changes as a function of friendly and
aggressive social interactions in rats. Brain Research 1025:
Panksepp J, Nocjar C, Burgdorf J, Panksepp JB, Huber R. (2004). The role
of emotional systems in addiction: A neuroethological perspective. In:
R.A. Bevins & M.T. Bardo (eds.) 50th Nebraska Symposium on
Motivation: Motivational Factors in the Etiology of Drug Abuse,
Lincoln: Nebraska, pp. 85-126.
Panksepp, J. (2006). Emotional endophenotypes in evolutionary
psychiatry. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological
Psychiatry 30, 774-784.
Panksepp J, Burgdorf J, Beinfeld MC, Kroes R, Moskal J. (2007). Brain
regional neuropeptide changes resulting from social defeat.
Behavioral Neuroscience 121: 1364-1371.
Northoff G, Schneider F, Rotte M, Matthiae C, Tempelmann C, Wiebking C,
Bermpohl F, Heinzel A, Danos P, Heinze HJ, Bogerts B, Walter M, Panksepp
J. (2009). Differential parametric modulation of self-relatedness and
emotions in different brain regions. Human Brain Mapping 30,
Fuchs T, Iacobucci P, MacKinnon KM, Panksepp J. (2010). Infant-mother
recognition in a social rodent (Octodon degus). Journal of
Comparative Psychology 124(2), 166-175.
Panksepp J. (2010). Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind:
evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression.
Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 12, 389-399.
Panksepp J, Watt J. (2011). Why does depression hurt? Ancestral
primary-process separation-distress (PANIC) and diminished brain reward
(SEEKING) processes in the genesis of depressive affect. Psychiatry
Colonnello, V., Iacobucci, P., Anderson, M.P., & Panksepp, J. (2011).
Brief periods of positive peer interactions mitigate the effects of
total social isolation in young Octodon degus. Devlopmental
Psychobiology 2010 Dec 22. [Epub ahead of print].
Born in Tartu, Estonia, Jaak Panksepp has authored and/or edited 11
books and over 330 journal articles and reviews. He received his Ph.D.
in 1969 from University of Massachusetts (Amherst), did two years of
post-doctoral work in nutrition and body energy balance at the School of
Biology, University of Sussex, and a year in sleep physiology at the
Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology (Massachusetts), before
joining the Department of Psychology at Bowling Green State University
(Ohio). In January of 2006 he joined the WSU College of Veterinary
Medicine and Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience and CSAW as the Baily Endowed Chair of
Animal Well-Being Science.
Teaching Expertise and Interests
- Brain Mechanisms of Behavior/ Affective Neuroscience
- Developmental Psychobiology/ Developmental Disorders
- Psychobiology of Emotions and Motivations
- Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology
- Clinical Psychopharmacology/ Biological Psychiatry
- Experimental Methods
Recent Honors and Awards
- Lifetime achievement award from National Institute of Play
- The Oscar Sternbach Memorial Award from the National
Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis for "Outstanding
dedication and contributions to the field of psychoanalysis" (2009)
- The Glass Slipper Award from the International Experiential
Dynamic Therapy Association (2010)
- The Order of the White Star, Government of Estonia (2011)