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Emotional Valence and the Free-Energy Principle

Mateus Joffily () and Giorgio Coricelli ()
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Mateus Joffily: Center for Mind/Brain Sciences - UNITN - Università degli Studi di Trento = University of Trento, GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon - Saint-Etienne - ENS de Lyon - École normale supérieure de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Abstract: The free-energy principle has recently been proposed as a unified Bayesian account of perception, learning and action. Despite the inextricable link between emotion and cognition, emotion has not yet been formulated under this framework. A core concept that permeates many perspectives on emotion is valence, which broadly refers to the positive and negative character of emotion or some of its aspects. In the present paper, we propose a definition of emotional valence in terms of the negative rate of change of free-energy over time. If the second time-derivative of free-energy is taken into account, the dynamics of basic forms of emotion such as happiness, unhappiness, hope, fear, disappointment and relief can be explained. In this formulation, an important function of emotional valence turns out to regulate the learning rate of the causes of sensory inputs. When sensations increasingly violate the agent's expectations, valence is negative and increases the learning rate. Conversely, when sensations increasingly fulfil the agent's expectations, valence is positive and decreases the learning rate. This dynamic interaction between emotional valence and learning rate highlights the crucial role played by emotions in biological agents' adaptation to unexpected changes in their world.

Keywords: Emotional Valence; Free-Energy Principle (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-hap
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-00834063
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5)

Published in PLoS Computational Biology, 2013, 9 (6), pp.e1003094. ⟨10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003094⟩

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Working Paper: Emotional valence and the free-energy principle (2013)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00834063

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003094

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