It is argued that the emotional feeling comprises the following two emotional qualia. (1) A nucleus feeling or primary emotional
quale, which is the phenomenological counterpart of the end product of appraisal by the central nervous system. (2) The experience
of being urged to emotion-related reflection or secondary emotional quale, which is the phenomenological counterpart of the
brain’s decision to inhibit pre-programmed emotional behaviour, and to initiate emotion-related reflections. Different brain
modules regulate these two qualia, and thus each can be experienced independently of the other. The primary
quale is related to activation of the amygdala, it is emotion specific, and neutral with respect to affect. The secondary
emotional quale is related to activation of the orbito-prefrontal cortex (O-PFC), and includes affective aspects.
is argued that emotional behaviour is regulated by the following three neural mechanisms, two of which two are directly related
to the two qualia. (1) An evolutionary ancient system (amygdala-system), which comprises the amygdalae and subcortical nuclei,
and which activates pre-programmed emotional behaviour. (2) An evolutionary recent system (PFC-system), comprising the prefrontal
cortex, which inhibits pre-programmed emotional behaviour, activates emotional reflection, generates and evaluates behavioural
alternatives. In contrast to the preprogrammed behaviour, the behavioural alternatives are more likely to serve longterm goals.
(3) A default mechanism, which gives rise to default (i.e., ‘‘just do something’’) behaviour. The first two systems are mutually
competitive, while the third mechanism takes over if either the competition between the first
two mechanisms, or the decision
process of the PFC-system, takes too long.
This default mechanism involves the function of the medial-prefrontal cortex