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Emotions and their sources explored in 'The Nature of the Beast'

What was it Teddy Roosevelt called mountain lions, "cowardly?" Cougars do avoid humans, but identifying that behavior as an emotion--a human kind of emotion--might be a mistake.

Science cannot say definitively that animals feel emotions the way we do. For that matter, there's still plenty of debate over whether emotions are strictly psychological or more complicated actions within our nervous systems.

New tools are helping to fill in the large gaps in the picture, and neuroscientist David Anderson explains the workings of those tools in his book The Nature of the Beast: How Emotions Guide Us.

We get the goods in an interview with the author.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.