What Does The Brain Look Like While Processing And Regulating Emotions
Now, in the first section, you learned about feelings, which scientists call emotions. You heard that emotions can lead to a reaction in your body. You also know that sometimes we experience several emotions at once and that sometimes it is necessary to control a feeling and not to act on it. This process is called emotion regulation. In the second section, you learned how an MRI camera works and how it can be used to take images of the structure and function of the brain. In the next section, we want to combine these two things and talk about the parts of the brain that are responsible for processing and regulating emotion.
- Figure 3 – The emotion processing network includes several areas of the brain.
- Some of these areas are shown here shaded in blue and you can see their different jobs: the amygdala recognizes and sorts the emotions before transporting them to other areas. In the picture, this transportation is visualized by a train driving along the dotted track line to the most frontal part of the brain. Once the information arrives there, the prefrontal cortex and the cingulate cortex act as a control center , deciding what has to be done next with the incoming emotions. Many areas work together to process an emotion! .
The Amygdala Cognition And Social Behaviour
Emotions influence cognitive processes such as attention, memory formation, and decision making, and they play a prominent role in social behaviour. A large body of literature supports a role for the amygdala in those functions, presumably by virtue of amygdalar projections to the prefrontal and sensory cortices, to the hippocampus and rhinal cortices, and to subcortical neuromodulatory systems. For example, patients with isolated lesions of the amygdala resulting from Urbach-Wiethe disease can exhibit a deficit in identifying fearful facial expressions. That deficit appears to be due to difficulties in directing attention to the eyes of others, which is important for discerning fear. Consistent with that observation, amygdala neural activity can reflect the emotional significance and location of visual stimuli. Substantial work also implicates a role for the basolateral amygdala in modulating the formation of memories in relation to emotional events. In addition, human neuroimaging studies suggest a role for the amygdala in mediating the so-called framing effect during economic choices, which is thought to reflect the effect of positive or negative emotion on decision making.
Why Do We Have Emotions
Emotions might be frustrating at times, like during Disney films, but theyre a huge part of humanities success. When working together, humans are able to do amazing things like hunt, form societies, make laws, and queue in a sensible line.
The evolution of emotions and human society go hand in hand. As the brain developed, so did our ability to work in ever-larger tribes or societies.
Australopithecus africanus: group size of 70/80
Homo erectus: group size of 90/120
Homo sapian: group size of 155
Emotions enable us to get along being able to both display and interpret others feelings give us an idea of how they will act, and we react in turn. For example, if someone smiles and compliments you, its as rewarding as being handed cash.
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Brain And Emotions: How Anger Fear Or Love Work In Your Brain
The human brain is incredibly complex. Neuroscientists are still uncovering hidden depths to this intriguing organ. and there is still a lot that we dont know about it. However, what we do know about the brain, and the part of it that deals with recognizing and controlling your bodys reaction to emotions is incredibly fascinating.
In this post, we look at our brain and emotions and what different reactions occur in our heads when we feel anger, fear or love.
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Which Area Of The Brain Controls Emotions
The main area of the brain that is involved with emotions is called the limbic system. It is also responsible for our memories and arousal. All parts of the limbic system are connected through a variety of neural pathways. This part of the brain is what enables us to react to situations when we feel a certain way.
The limbic system, therefore, is the part of the brain that is thought to control our emotions and the brain functions that coincide with them. It is said to consist of four main parts:
- Hypothalamus: this part of the limbic system is responsible for regulating our body temperature, releasing hormones, and plays a key part in our emotions and our sex drive.
- Amygdala: the amygdala is what helps us to respond to emotions including anger, fear, sadness in order to protect us. The amygdala also retains memories of emotions experienced and when they occurred. This helps us to prepare when similar experiences happen in the future.
- Thalamus: the thalamus is where we detect and respond to our senses and is linked with the cerebrum which is where thinking and movement are triggered.
- Hippocampus: the hippocampus plays a key part in our retention and retrieval of memories.
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The Brain Is Flexible: Neuroplasticity
The control of some specific bodily functions, such as movement, vision, and hearing, is performed in specified areas of the cortex, and if these areas are damaged, the individual will likely lose the ability to perform the corresponding function. For instance, if an infant suffers damage to facial recognition areas in the temporal lobe, it is likely that he or she will never be able to recognize faces . On the other hand, the brain is not divided up in an entirely rigid way. The brains neurons have a remarkable capacity to reorganize and extend themselves to carry out particular functions in response to the needs of the organism and to repair damage. As a result, the brain constantly creates new neural communication routes and rewires existing ones. Neuroplasticity refers to the brains ability to change its structure and function in response to experience or damage. Neuroplasticity enables us to learn and remember new things and adjust to new experiences.
Although neurons cannot repair or regenerate themselves as skin or blood vessels can, new evidence suggests that the brain can engage in neurogenesis, the forming of new neurons . These new neurons originate deep in the brain and may then migrate to other brain areas, where they form new connections with other neurons . This leaves open the possibility that someday scientists might be able to rebuild damaged brains by creating drugs that help grow neurons.
Ventricles And Cerebrospinal Fluid
Deep in the brain are four open areas with passageways between them. They also open into the central spinal canal and the area beneath arachnoid layer of the meninges.
The ventricles manufacture cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a watery fluid that circulates in and around the ventricles and the spinal cord, and between the meninges. CSF surrounds and cushions the spinal cord and brain, washes out waste and impurities, and delivers nutrients.
The Autonomic Nervous System
The autonomic nervous system is part of the peripheral nervous system in humans. It is regulated by the hypothalamus and controls our internal organs and glands, including such processes as pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and arousal in response to emotional circumstances. The ANS is generally thought to be outside of voluntary control.
The ANS can be further subdivided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When activated, the sympathetic nervous system controls the endocrine glands to prepare the body for emergency action. SNS activation causes the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine , which results in the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight response involves increased blood flow to the muscles, increased heart rate, and other physiological responses that enable the body to move more quickly and feel less pain in situations perceived to be dangerous.
Conversely, the parasympathetic nervous system functions when the body is relaxed or at rest it helps the body store energy for future use. Effects of PN activation include increased stomach activity and decreased blood flow to the muscles.
The parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions of the ANS have complementary functions, and they operate in tandem to maintain the bodys equilibrium. Equilibrium of the body, in which biological conditions are maintained at optimal levels, is known as homeostasis.
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The Anterior Cingulate Cortex
Our meta-analytic evidence is inconsistent with the locationist account that the ACC is the brain basis of sadness, but more consistent with a psychological constructionist hypothesis of ACC function. As compared to voxels within other brain regions, voxels within the sACC, pACC and aMCC did not have more consistent increases when participants were experiencing or perceiving instances of sadness than during any other emotion category . As compared to voxels within other brain regions, a greater spatial extent of voxels within the aMCC had consistent increases in activation during instances of fear perception than the perception of any other emotion category . The amygdala, which responds to motivationally salient exteroceptive sensory stimuli , projects to this area of aMCC , so it is possible that increased activity here reflects response preparation to salient stimuli in the environment.
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How Do Conditions Of The Brain Affect Us Emotionally
Feelings of sadness, frustration and loss are common after brain injury. These feelings often appear during the later stages of recovery, after the individual has become more aware of the long-term situation. If these feelings become overwhelming or interfere with recovery, the person may be suffering from depression.
A Psychological Constructionist Account Of The Brain Basis Of Emotion
A psychological constructionist account of emotion assumes that emotions are psychological events that emerge out of more basic psychological operations that are not specific to emotion. In this view, mental categories such as anger, sadness, and fear are not respected by the brain . A psychological constructionist approach to emotion is as old as the locationist approach, at least in its nascent form . Our contemporary psychological constructionist approach shares much in common with cognitive neuroscience approaches arguing that basic psychological operations are common across diverse task domains . As in the neural context hypothesis, it assumes that the psychological function of individual brain regions is determined, in part, by the network of brain regions it is firing with . It is also consistent with recent evidence that large-scale networks intrinsic to the brain interact to produce psychological events . In philosophy of mind, it is consistent with both a token identity and a supervenience approach to mindbrain correspondence and the mental mechanisms approach . We discuss the psychological constructionist view in somewhat more detail because it is unfamiliar to many readers.
Psychological Constructionist Hypotheses of BrainEmotion Correspondence
A: Lateral view. B: Sagital view at the midline. C: Ventral view. D: Coronal view.
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Can A Psychopath Feel Love
Psychopaths are not impervious to loves benefits, and they suffer when theyre absent. Though they are largely disassociated from feelings of sincerity and vulnerabilityemotions which are central to forming strong romantic bondspsychopaths are not impervious to loves benefits, and they suffer when theyre absent.
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New Machine Learning Algorithm Can Identify The Facial Expression A Person Is Looking At Based On Neural Activity
- Ohio State University
- Researchers have pinpointed the area of the brain responsible for recognizing human facial expressions. It’s on the right side of the brain behind the ear, in a region called the posterior superior temporal sulcus .
Researchers at The Ohio State University have pinpointed the area of the brain responsible for recognizing human facial expressions.
It’s on the right side of the brain behind the ear, in a region called the posterior superior temporal sulcus .
In a paper published today in the Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers report that they used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify a region of pSTS as the part of the brain activated when test subjects looked at images of people making different facial expressions.
Further, the researchers have discovered that neural patterns within the pSTS are specialized for recognizing movement in specific parts of the face. One pattern is tuned to detect a furrowed brow, another is tuned to detect the upturn of lips into a smile, and so on.
“That suggests that our brains decode facial expressions by adding up sets of key muscle movements in the face of the person we are looking at,” said Aleix Martinez, a cognitive scientist and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ohio State.
“Humans use a very large number of facial expressions to convey emotion, other non-verbal communication signals and language,” Martinez said.
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S Of The Limbic System
The limbic system is made up of some important organs such as the following:
- Amygdaloid nuclear complex, which is very popularly known as amygdala
- Stria medullaris
- Central gray, dorsal nuclei of gudden and ventral nuclei of gudden
The limbic system is divided into three areas known as the cortical area, subcortical area, and diencephalic structures. The structure of the limbic system is such that it helps the human body in the motivation-creation process, emotions-creating process, learning process and the memory-making and retaining process.
All these processes closely related to each other because all of these processes need some kind of emotion that triggers a reaction.
The hippocampus and the amygdalae are few of the most important parts of the limbic process because the hippocampus is the part of the limbic system that helps in understanding a situation thoroughly and completely.
The amygdala is the part of the limbic system that helps in starting the response for the information or data that is perceived by the hippocampus. The hippocampus works along with the prefrontal lobe to perceive the information or data from a specific situation or circumstance.
Your Lizard Brain Or Limbic System
The limbic system is responsible for the six fs fighting, fleeing, feeding, fear, freezing-up and fornicating, which are incidentally the favourite hobbies held by lizards.
You might notice as well that the six fs are the best basics for species to explore, expand and reproduce leading them to fight for mates and food and flee for survival. This ancient part of the human brain was, and is, extremely valuable to our survival, yet hasnt reached a level where it can differentiate between an approaching tiger or a high school maths test both of these have the same kinds of responses and chemical reactions.
Its not just a chunk of your brain, however the limbic system is made up of the hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus and limbic cortex.
Even this isnt the whole story – the research rolls on and discoveries are constantly rewriting everything we think we know. At this time, heres what we think we know about where the emotions are held:
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The Cerebral Cortex Creates Consciousness And Thinking
All animals have adapted to their environments by developing abilities that help them survive. Some animals have hard shells, others run extremely fast, and some have acute hearing. Human beings do not have any of these particular characteristics, but we do have one big advantage over other animals we are very, very smart.
You might think that we should be able to determine the intelligence of an animal by looking at the ratio of the animals brain weight to the weight of its entire body. But this does not really work. The elephants brain is one-thousandth of its weight, but the whales brain is only one ten-thousandth of its body weight. On the other hand, although the human brain is one-sixtieth of its body weight, the mouses brain represents one-fortieth of its body weight. Despite these comparisons, elephants do not seem 10 times smarter than whales, and humans definitely seem smarter than mice.
What Part Of The Brain Controls Mood And Emotional Behavior
Your emotional response and general mood is generated in the amygdala. But its the prefrontal cortex thats responsible for planning future action, aka, the way you behave based on those emotions.
So if you thought about robbing a bank, your prefrontal cortex would help you process the idea and connect it to an appropriate emotional response.
If the amygdala is damaged, you lose control of base impulses. In fact, you may even begin to act in an inappropriate way. Disinhibited behavior, hypersexuality, and risk-taking are behavioral consequences of a damaged amygdala.
The left hemisphere of the brain processes while the right hemisphere identifies. For example, if you felt as if you were falling in love, your right hemisphere would identify the feeling, but your left hemisphere would help you decide on how to act.
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Whats The Limbic System
The limbic system is made up of a set of brain structures that are considered very primitive in evolutionary terms, located in the upper part of the brain stem, below the cortex.
It is a network of neurons located in the brain that directly affects human behavior, due to its great influence on moods.
These structures are those that are fundamentally involved in the development of many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those related to survival such as fear, anger and emotions related to sexual behavior.
Fear, joy, sadness, anger All the feelings that we experience in our day to day have a neurological basis in this network.
On the other hand, everything related to the basic sensations of pleasure that occurs when eating or when we practice sex is also directed from this system.
In the same way, our emotions affect other fields of action of the human being, such as concentration or learning. When we feel sad or worried, our ability to focus on an important task becomes more difficult, right? Well, the limbic system is to blame for it.