Tuesday, September 27, 2022

What Side Of The Brain Controls Emotions

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Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series .

The brain has two hemispheres that are two identical-appearing halves. The functions of the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere virtually mirror each other, with the right side of the brain controlling the left half of the bodyâs movement, sensation, vision, and hearing, while the left side controls the right half of these functions.

Left Brain Vs Right Brain: Characteristics Chart

Neuroscientists and psychologists worldwide have put considerable effort into investigating the characteristics and functions of the left and right sides of the brain.

Though the two sides of a humans brain look alike, they process information very differently. Over the years, studies have consistently shown that there are many differences between the left brain and the right brain. However, although the two halves work in two contrasting styles, they are very much interconnected.

In this Custom Writing article, you will learn everything about the left and right brain hemispheres, including the differences in how they function.

What Is The Gray Matter And White Matter

Gray and white matter are two different regions of the central nervous system. In the brain, gray matter refers to the darker, outer portion, while white matter describes the lighter, inner section underneath. In the spinal cord, this order is reversed: The white matter is on the outside, and the gray matter sits within.

Gray matter is primarily composed of neuron somas , and white matter is mostly made of axons wrapped in myelin . The different composition of neuron parts is why the two appear as separate shades on certain scans.

Each region serves a different role. Gray matter is primarily responsible for processing and interpreting information, while white matter transmits that information to other parts of the nervous system.

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The Lobes Of The Brain

Each hemisphere of the cerebrum is divided into four lobes: frontal, temporal, occipital and parietal. The frontal lobes are the largest sections of the brain and make up the front portion of the cerebrum. The frontal lobes are the main thought processing center and control reasoning, problem solving, decision making, language and personality traits.

The temporal lobes are found on the sides of the brain, just above the ears. This part of the brain is responsible for short-term memory, understanding speech and recognizing sounds. Together with the frontal lobes, they identify and process smells.

The back portion of the cerebrum are the occipital lobes, which control vision. Lying interior to the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes are the parietal lobes. The parietals are the sensory processing center of the brain and are responsible for spoken language and learning.

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Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex Medial Temporal Lobe And Retrosplenial Cortex/posterior Cingulate Cortex

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Our psychological constructionist approach hypothesizes that a range of other brain regions are important to realizing instances of emotion experience and perception, including dorsomedial prefrontal cortex , ventromedial prefrontal cortex , medial temporal lobe , and retrosplenial cortex/posterior cingulate cortex , which are associated with the psychological operation of conceptualization. As part of the process of making meaning out of sensory cues, we hypothesize that these brain areas use stored representations of prior experiences to make meaning out of core affective inputs that come from the self or observing others. Locationist views do not hypothesize specific roles for these brain regions in emotion because they are usually considered to have a cognitive function, insofar that they support memory , object perception , and theory of mind . In our view, these brain regions should not necessarily be more involved in instances of one category of emotion than another, although we would expect them to be part of the more general neural reference space for discrete emotion.

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Right Brain Left Brain

The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.

Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.

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A 2011 BBC Radio 4 programme debunked the right brain/left brain theory along with other popular brain myths, such as the idea that we only use 10% of our grey matter, or that listening to Mozart makes us smarter.

Now here at BBC Trending we hate to ruin the party, so by all means continue to take those Facebook brain quizzes if you like, but remember it’s a just bit of fun – not a bit of science.

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The Role Of The Thalamus In The Emotional Brain

The thalamus is another region of the brain implicated in the limbic system this structure is found at the heart of the forebrain and is responsible for emotion processing, such as fear, sadness, disgust, happiness, and pleasure. The thalamus plays an essential role in sensory processing all sensory input, other than olfactory information, is processed in this region of brain, hence the nickname ‘Grand Central Station’.

The Brain Is Flexible: Neuroplasticity

Parts of Brain

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.

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Your Brain Perceives And Acts Upon Emotional Stimuli

Even though we think of emotions as internal states, psychologists define emotions as a combination of cognitions, feelings and actions . This means what we think of as “emotions” includes not only how we feel, but also how we process and respond to those feelings.

To understand this, it’s helpful to consider the purpose of emotions. In 1872, Charles Darwin first published “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,” which established that emotions serve an important evolutionary purpose. In order for a species to continue, it needs to survive and pass on its genetic information. Emotions like fear serve to protect you from danger so you can survive to pass on your genes. The “fight-or-flight” response that primes your body to defend itself or run away from danger is also an emotional reaction. Emotions like love and lust give you the desire to reproduce.

For these reasons, the brain takes on the function of evaluating a stimulus — such as a dog that’s about to attack or a beautiful woman batting her eyelashes — and crafting an emotional response to it. The brain thinks in terms of how it can best respond to a situation in order to survive and reproduce, and it uses emotions as the catalyst to convince the rest of your body to act accordingly.

The Cell Structure Of The Brain

The brain is made up of two types of cells: neurons and glial cells, also known as neuroglia or glia. The neuron is responsible for sending and receiving nerve impulses or signals. Glial cells are non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin and facilitate signal transmission in the nervous system. In the human brain, glial cells outnumber neurons by about 50 to one. Glial cells are the most common cells found in primary brain tumors.

When a person is diagnosed with a brain tumor, a biopsy may be done, in which tissue is removed from the tumor for identification purposes by a pathologist. Pathologists identify the type of cells that are present in this brain tissue, and brain tumors are named based on this association. The type of brain tumor and cells involved impact patient prognosis and treatment.

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How Does The Limbic System Control Emotions

The hypothalamus, amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus are the four main components of the limbic system:

  • The hypothalamus controls the endocrine system. The effects on your body are a faster heartbeat, dilated pupils, and quicker breathing.
  • The amygdala is related to feelings of fear, anxiety, and anger. In collaboration with the hypothalamus, the amygdala is responsible for the fight-or-flight response.
  • The thalamus is responsible for directing sense into the corresponding areas in the cortex. In the context of emotions, senses influence them immensely. This is why certain nostalgic songs may trigger an emotional response.
  • The hippocampus processes sensory input and helps the limbic system produce an appropriate reaction. It converts short term to long term memory and ties emotions into memories.

The brain is a complex piece of organic machinery. And even when it feels as if our emotions are out of control, there are actually many predictable, structured processes responsible for our emotional responses.

So, do you have any tips or tricks for controlling your emotions? Share it with us in the comments below!

Exercises And Critical Thinking

Frontiers for Young Minds
  • Do you think that animals experience emotion? What aspects of brain structure might lead you to believe that they do or do not?
  • Consider your own experiences and speculate on which parts of your brain might be particularly well developed as a result of these experiences.
  • Which brain hemisphere are you likely to be using when you search for a fork in the silverware drawer? Which brain hemisphere are you most likely to be using when you struggle to remember the name of an old friend?
  • Do you think that encouraging left-handed children to use their right hands is a good idea? Why or why not?
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    Hippocampus And Classical Conditioning

    In eyeblink conditioning, neuronal unit cluster recordings in hippocampal fields CA1 and CA3 increase in discharge frequency in paired training trials very rapidly, shift forward in time as learning develops, and form a predictive temporal model of the learned behavioral response, both within trials and over the trials of training . To summarize a large body of research, the growth of the hippocampal unit response is, under normal conditions, an invariable and strongly predictive concomitant of subsequent behavioral learning . This increase in neuronal activity in the hippocampus becomes significant by the second or third trial of training, long before behavioral signs of learning develop, as would be expected of a declarative memory system. This initial hippocampal unit increase is in the US period increases in the CS period appear at about the time point in training when behavioral conditioned responses appear.

    There are strikingly parallel and persisting increases in glutamate -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor binding on hippocampal membranes in the hippocampal subfields in both eyeblink conditioning and in in vivo expression of LTP by stimulation of the perforant path projection to hippocampal dentate gyrus. The pattern of increased binding is similar in both paradigms . GlutamateN-methyl-d-aspartate receptors play the critical role in induction of LTP and also appear to be involved in acquisition of the trace eyeblink CR .

    Hypothalamus & Limbic Cortex Small But Powerful Emotion Controllers

    The hypothalamus and limbic cortex are also parts of the limbic system. The hypothalamus is a very small part of the human brain and the limbic system.

    It is situated near the pituitary gland and is located in the base area of the human brain. It is responsible for four different functions. They are controlling the emotional responses, controlling the sexual responses, helping in the process of hormone-releasing and regulating body temperature.

    The limbic cortex is another part of the human brain. It is a tiny part of the limbic system and is responsible for some important functions.

    The limbic cortex is made up of two separate structures. They are cingulate gyrus and parahippocampal gyrus. These two structures work together to impact the mood, judgment and motivation levels of an individual.

    The above are all some of the structures that form part of the limbic system of the brain. These are not the only structures that form the limbic system.

    Tests, studies and researches are being conducted to find out more about the organs of the brain that can be included in the limbic system because of their role in controlling the emotions and feelings of a person.

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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.

    Emotion Regulation In Adulthood

    Emotions: limbic system | Processing the Environment | MCAT | Khan Academy

    While it is probably fair to say that much of the brain contributes in some form or another to emotion regulation, at its core the processes rely on communication between areas of the prefrontal cortex, in particular medial regions and subcortical systems including the amygdala, hippocampus, and basal ganglia. 8-10 The medial prefrontal cortex includes association cortex and has strong bidirectional connections, which typically occur via a single synapse, 11-14 to and from subcortical regions. The mPFC receives and coordinates signals from perceptual, semantic, and linguistic regions of the brain as well, to facilitate regulatione.g. amplification, redirection, or dampeningof emotional reactions.5

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    What Part Of The Brain Controls Anger

    Much like fear, anger is a response to threats or stressors in your environment. When youre in a situation that seems dangerous and you cant escape, youll likely respond with anger or aggression. You can think of the anger response and the fight as part of the fight-or-flight response.

    Frustration, such as facing roadblocks while trying to achieve a goal, can also trigger the anger response.

    Anger starts with the amygdala stimulating the hypothalamus, much like in the fear response. In addition, parts of the prefrontal cortex may also play a role in anger. People with damage to this area often have trouble controlling their emotions, especially anger and aggression.

    Parts of the prefrontal cortex of the brain may also contribute to the regulation of an anger response. People with damage to this area of the brain sometimes

    What Emotions Does The Frontal Lobe Control

  • What Emotions Does the Frontal Lobe Control? Center
  • The frontal lobe plays a role in regulating emotions in interpersonal relationships and social situations. These include positive as well as negative emotions.

    People with damage to the prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobe area face difficulty in controlling the emotions of anger and aggression.

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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
    • Hippocampus
    • 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.

    A Locationist Account Of The Brain Basis Of Emotion

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    All natural kind models share the assumption that different emotion categories have their roots in distinct mechanisms in the brain and body. The mechanisms underlying discrete emotion categories have been discussed as residing within particular gross anatomical locations or as networks in the brain. These models constitute a locationist account of emotion because they hypothesize that all mental states belonging to the same emotion category are produced by activity that is consistently and specifically associated with an architecturally defined brain locale or anatomically defined networks of locales that are inherited and shared with other mammalian species . Not all natural kind models are locationist, however for example, some models propose that each discrete emotion is triggered by an inherited mechanism that does not necessarily correspond to a particular brain locale but rather to a specific pattern of autonomic nervous system activity. Much of the contemporary research on emotion makes locationist assumptions and in this article we focus on the models that hypothesize single brain regions to be consistently and specifically associated with different emotion categories because they represent the most frequent hypothesis that has been tested in the cognitive neuroscience literature. We discuss specific predictions of the locationist approach in section 5, Testing Hypotheses of BrainEmotion Correspondence .

    Locationist Hypotheses of BrainEmotion Correspondence

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