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This is how your brain constructs emotions

https://www.popsci.com/how-human-mind-constructs-emotions/

popsci.com

This is how your brain constructs emotions
For my daughter’s twelfth birthday, we exploited the power of simulation (and had some fun) by throwing a “gross foods” party. Read on.

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Simulation: The Way The Brain Really Works

Simulation: The Way The Brain Really Works

Every moment that we are alive, our brain utilizes concepts to simulate the surrounding environment, practically creating ‘our’ world.

At any given moment, our brain tries to reconstruct, guess or compute what’s happening in the world using simulation. There is a lot of noisy, ambiguous information from our senses, which our brain uses to construct a simulation, and derive meaning from a fraction of the information(which seems relevant) while discarding the rest.

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Simulation: A New Era Of Psychology And Neuroscience

  • Simulation is the standard, default mode for all brain activity.
  • Discovered in the 1990s, simulation is what psychologists and neuroscientists mistook as ‘reactions’ to what we see, hear, touch, smell or taste.
  • We automatically use simulation for thinking, understanding language, feeling empathy, remembrance, imagination, dreams and the ability to perceive.

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The Signal Computing Process

Using the ability to simulate the brain gathers outside information and integrates it with what it already knows and what is associated with it.

Then it combines these signals and computes in various ways to perceive and guide the corresponding action.

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Emotions: The Product of Sensory Input

Just like our senses, our body has signals like breathing, heartbeat, metabolism and other internal movements that may be considered a source of sensory input for the brain. This, when mixed with our original sensory inputs like touch, sight and hearing, can create emotions.

Example: a stomachache can be seen as meaning something else just with the accompanying signal being good (a lover coming to see you) or bad (sniffing something horrible).

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Emotional Intelligence: The Assumptions

Emotional Intelligence: The Assumptions

Emotional Intelligence(EQ), or the ability to be able to identify and respond to the other person’s feelings is a soft-skill based on two flawed assumptions:

  1. It is ...

The Neuroscientific View Of Emotional Intelligence

A scientific way to define and understand emotional intelligence is to view your brain as a construction, an on-the-fly builder of thoughts, emotions, and perceptions.

The reflex-like emotional reactions are just the tip of the iceberg, and the brain is constantly shape-shifting itself and processing the sensory inputs that are received into useful predictions and actions.

Emotional Granularity: Becoming An Emotional Expert

If the brain has a large, flexible range of diverse emotions in any given situation, it’s emotional intelligence is wide-ranging and finely tailored. This ability of a flexible, emotion-rich brain is called granularity.

Real emotional intelligence means understanding that sometimes feelings and emotions cannot be distilled and expressed using a predefined slot. Emotional granularity is the coming-of-age of the decades old understanding of EQ, now evolved and unfolding its many facets.

The Positive Lexicography Project

The Positive Lexicography Project

It aims to offer a more nuanced understanding of ourselves, by capturing many ways of expressing good feelings from across the world.
It is directed by Tim Lomas at the University of East London...

Highly specific positive feelings

... that depend on particular circumstances:

  • Desbundar (Portuguese): to shed one’s inhibitions in having fun
  • Tarab (Arabic): a musically induced state of ecstasy or enchantment
  • Shinrin-yoku (Japanese): the relaxation gained from bathing in the forest, figuratively or literally
  • Gigil (Tagalog): the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished
  • Yuan bei (Chinese): a sense of complete and perfect accomplishment
  • Iktsuarpok (Inuit): the anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, whereby one keeps going outside to check if they have arrived.

Complex and bittersweet experiences

  • Natsukashii (Japanese): a nostalgic longing for the past, with happiness for the fond memory, yet sadness that it is no longer
  • Wabi-sabi (Japanese): a “dark, desolate sublimity” centered on transience and imperfection in beauty
  • Saudade (Portuguese): a melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away either spatially or in time – a vague, dreaming wistfulness for phenomena that may not even exist
  • Sehnsucht (German): “life-longings”, an intense desire for alternative states and realisations of life, even if they are unattainable.

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Human Emotions

An emotion is an objective state that exhibits itself in many ways like behavior, facial expression, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress-hormone levels. Broadly speaking, we kn...

New Kinds of Emotions

  • Mix N match Emotions: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a newly coined mix of envy, fear, and sadness.
  • Social Emotions: Feelings like guilt, shame and embarrassment are social emotions, and can even be found in dogs.
  • Fear: Emotions like fear and anxiety are hard to pinpoint in the brain's geographical area, due to the presence of multiple fear circuits.

If our emotions are constructed by our minds, it means they can also be de-constructed or even reconstructed.

Labelling Emotions

The brain loves to identify, tag, or label all the feelings and emotions that are being experienced.

New studies show that changing the name of the emotion can change the feeling that is produced by hearing that emotion, and the brain may be able to create or make up emotions that don't have a label yet.