To What Extent Does Cognition Control Emotion ? Essay

2022 Words Sep 22nd, 2011 9 Pages
To what extent does cognition control emotion ? In everyday life there is a constant evidence of interaction between cognition and emotion. If we see something funny we laugh, if we fear we run or hide, if we are distressed we find it hard to concentrate. However we do not need to present any of the emotions to others, we can regulate them, think about situations and consequences and estimate the outcome. We are able to control our emotions. Ochsner and Gross(2005,p.242) argues that capacity to control emotion is important for human adaptation. The question is to what extent does cognition control emotion?
In the next paragraphs I will consider some theories, factors and evidence on cognitive controlling of emotion in terms of
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The primacy debate results suggest that the extent to which cognition controls emotion is effected by different circumstances, situations, emotional states and ability to perceive things and also it does not need to happen always and that emotions can exist and process without cognitive influence and appraisal can appear as a consequence of emotional responding rather than a cause.

The assumptions that both Zajonc and Lazarus ( Braisby, Gelatly,2005 ) have partially truth have been evidenced in LeDoux(1992, 1996) work. He used lesioned animals in which specific neural pathways were severed by the experimenter. He found that amygdala and thalamus play different role in the generation of emotions. He suggests two different circuits in fear: low road and high road. Low road is used once there is an experience of emotion than an immediate reaction happens between thalamus sensory and amygdala. High road is used when new experienced are learned or old once extinguish and it happens in a slow-acting thalamus to cortex to amygdala circuit involving detailed analysis of sensory information. LeDoux (1992, 1996) suggests that high road might override the quick road in new situations. Once the experience is learnt that the thread is not that dangerous after processing it

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