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MRI brain

Project Overview

  • Emotions are the internal parameters operating in the brain to assist the recognition of the external environment for appropriate responses from within and without.
  • This project examines what are the essential parameters that characterize different emotions, and addresses the roles of emotions in governing behaviors of an animal or an autonomous robot.
  • Define what emotions are and how they are used functionally in organisms, and derive them based on first principles without any a priori assumptions about what emotions are and what they are used for.


  • We want to derive the basis of emotions from first principles in the control of behavior in an organism. That is, we do not make any a prior assumptions about what emotions are in retrospection subjectively. Rather, we will derive the necessity of emotion in facilitating the realistic operation of an organism or a robot encountered in the real world.
  • That is to say, imagine that we created an organism or a robot, what are the essential autonomous controlling principles that are needed to operate in the real world successfully. How would emotions allow an organism to survive better compared to an organism without any emotions?

Research Objectives

  • We examine and identify what emotions are and what they are for in terms of autonomous control of an organism.

Specific Goals

  • We investigate and identify the parameters that govern each of the specific emotions, and determine how they are related to the operation of the behavior of the organism or an autonomous robot.

The Challenge

  • We want to identify and verify whether the specific parameters of the emotional model we created would correspond to the emotions found in various animals.

The Solutions

  • See publication: Tam, D. (2007) EMOTION-I Model: A Biologically-Based Theoretical Framework for Deriving Emotional Context of Sensation in Autonomous Control Systems. The Open Cybernetics & Systemics Journal, 1: 28-46. [EMOTION-I-model.pdf]
  • See publication: Tam, D. (2007) EMOTION-II Model: A Theoretical Framework for Happy Emotion as a Self-Assessment Measure Indicating the Degree-of-Fit (Congruency) between the Expectancy in Subjective and Objective Realities in Autonomous Control Systems. The Open Cybernetics & Systemics Journal, 1: 47-60. [EMOTION-II-model.pdf]