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12 Cards in this Set

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Objective

Identify the three aspects of an emotion.
An emotional state, such as fear, includes three aspects: a cognition (e.g. identifying a situation as dangerous), a behavior (e.g. escape) and a feeling state. Behavior depends on the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic branches). The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for brief, intense, vigorous “fight-or-flight” responses. The parasympathetic nervous system increases digestion and other processes that save energy and prepare for later events.
Objective

Describe the James-Lange theory of emotion.
According to the James-Lange theory, the autonomic arousal and skeletal actions come first. What we experience as an emotion is the label we give to our responses: I am afraid because I run away; I am angry because I attack.
Objective

Indicate whether or not physiological arousal is necessary or sufficient for emotions.
Physiological arousal does not appear to be necessary: People with pure autonomic failure, who have no changes in heart rate, blood pressure, or sweating during psychological stress, report having normal emotions.

Physiological arousal does not appear to be sufficient: Autonomic arousal can occur without being connected in any way to an emotion. For instance, it could be purely the result of physical exertion, as during a normal aerobic exercise routine.
Objective

Discuss the relationship of disgust and the sense of taste.
Of all emotions, the one for which the evidence most strongly suggests brain localization is disgust. The insular cortex, or insula, is strongly activated if you see a disgusting picture or the facial expression of someone else who is feeling disgusted. That is, if you see someone who looks disgusted, you feel it too. Locating disgust in the insula is interesting because that is the primary taste cortex. To react with disgust is to react as if something tasted bad; we want to spit it out. One man with damage to this insular cortex not only failed to experience disgust but also had trouble recognizing other people’s disgust expressions and did not recognize that a retching sound meant nausea or disgust. However, the insula reacts to frightening pictures as well as disgusting ones, so it may not be specific to disgust.
Objective

Describe the role of the left and right hemispheres in emotion.
Activity of the left hemisphere, especially its frontal and temporal lobes, relates to the Behavioral Activation System (BAS), marked by low to moderate autonomic arousal, and a tendency to approach, which could characterize either happiness or anger. Increased activity of the frontal and temporal lobes of the right hemisphere is associated with the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS), which increases attention and arousal, inhibits action, and stimulates emotions such as fear and disgust.

The difference between the hemispheres relates to personality; on the average, people with greater activity in the frontal cortex of the left hemisphere tend to be happier, more outgoing, and more fun-loving; people with greater right-hemisphere activity tend to be socially withdrawn, less satisfied with life, and prone to unpleasant emotions.

The right hemisphere appears to be more responsive to emotional stimuli than the left. For example, listening to either laughter or crying activates the right amygdala more than the left. When people look at faces, drawing their attention to the emotional expression increases the activity in the right temporal cortex. People with damage to the right temporal cortex have trouble identifying in other people’s emotional expressions or even saying whether two people are expressing the same emotion or different ones.
Objective

Describe the function of common emotions.
Fear alerts us to escape from danger. Anger directs us to attack an intruder. Disgust tells us to avoid something that might cause illness. The adaptive value of happiness, sadness, embarrassment, and other emotions is less obvious. In general, emotions can provide a fairly useful guide when we need to make a quick decision. For instance, our “gut feeling” can be a practical tool in directing our everyday decisions.
Objective

Explain how loss of emotions can affect decision making.
People with severe loss of emotions often make poor decisions. Damasio (1994) examined a man with prefrontal cortex damage who expressed almost no emotions. Nothing angered him; he was never very sad, even about his own brain damage. Far from being purely rational, he frequently made bad decisions that cost him his job, his marriage, and his savings. When tested in the lab, he successfully predicted the probable outcomes of various decisions. For example, when asked what would happen if he cashed a check and the bank teller handed him too much money, he knew the probable consequences of returning it or walking away with it. However, he admitted that he still would not know what to do. He knew that one action would win him approval and another would get him in trouble, but he apparently did not anticipate that approval would feel good and trouble would feel bad.
James-Lange theory
Theory that states that the feeling aspect of an emotion results from feedback from actions of the muscles and organs
pure autonomic failure
Output from the autonomic nervous system to the body fails, either completely or almost completely
limbic system
The forebrain areas surrounding the thalamus; essential for emotion
behavioral activation system (BAS)
Associated with frontal and temporal lobe activity of the left hemisphere; marked by low to moderate autonomic arousal, and a tendency to approach, which could characterize either happiness or anger
behavioral inhibition system (BIS)
Associated with increased activity of the frontal and temporal lobe areas of the right hemisphere; characterized by increases in attention and arousal, inhibition of action, and stimulation of emotions such as fear and disgust