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Is the study of the dimensional space that is meant to represent human emotions helpful in understanding the mechanisms underlying emotional processes? Emotional experience is frequently described along a certain number of dimensions, often including valence and arousal. This paper argues that dimensional models may obfuscate the mechanisms underlying the genesis of emotions. A parallel is drawn to dimensions of gustatory experience. Data are presented on the dimensional representation of taste, and compared with information about peripheral processing of basic tastes. While the obvious discrepancies might inspire more fascinating search for the next stage of gustatory processing, too little is known on basic emotional processing, in order to profit from a similar comparison.
Date of Conference: 21-25 March 2011