Ah nice. It is tricky to imagine the inner life of animals, but obviously there is no linguistic thought — what Merlin Donald would call oral objects — that get imputed to elaborate the primary affect. A deer, for example, primed by “fear” could easily be understood at “being in their power” because their power is vigilance, alertness, and swiftness — and this is a power that is not occluded by the thought “I am going to die!” What does seem to be the case, however, is that primary affect in animals is paired up with episodic memories, which are entire gestalts, that are extremely specified (we usually think of gestalts as generalized) such that, for example, a horse can learn to cross the river at this location on the bank, but still have to learn as if for the first time, to cross it at another location — whereas dogs are fairly good generalists. IN humans, generalizing is associated with categorizing, which is understood as the activity of thought. … Also it is clear to me, that a human can set and even change the affective tone of an animals nervous system — these dyadic relationships are very powerful in mammals and seem to operate in the same way, whether the species has evolved primarily as predator or prey.

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