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Lecture 11

PSYC 3420H Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Proprioception, Basal Ganglia, Jon D. Levenson

Course Code
PSYC 3420H
Fergal O' Hagan

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Lecture 11 & Chapter 12
Chapter Outline
Biological Aspects of Emotion
oJames-Lange Theory
oContemporary Perspective
Specific Neural Circuits
Specific Brain Areas
Neural Activation
oDifferential Emotions Theory
oFacial Feedback Hypothesis
Facial Musculature
Test of the Facial Feedback Hypothesis
Are Facial Expressions of Emotion Universal Across Cultures?
Can We Voluntarily Control Our Emotions
Cognitive Aspects of Emotion
From Perception to Appraisal
From Appraisal to Emotion
From Felt Emotion to Action
oComplex Appraisal
Primary Appraisal
Secondary Appraisal
Appraisal Model of Emotion
oAppraisal Process
Emotion Differentiation
oEmotion Knowledge
Social and Cultural Aspects of Emotion
oSocial Interaction
oEmotional Socialization
oManaging Emotions
Biological Aspects
Emotions are biological reactions to important life events
oEntries identify body's emotion-related biological reactions to important
life events
Facing situations of personal significance (ex: Threat) body
prepares to cope effectively (Ex: Run) by activating the following
1. Autonomic nervous system (heart, lungs, muscles)
2. Endocrine system (glands and hormones)
3. Neural brain circuits (limbic brain structures: amygdala
4. Rate of neural firing
5. Facial feedback (patterns of facial musculature)
James-Lange Theory

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oExperience suggests we experience emotion and that the felt emotion is
followed by bodily changes
Stimulus _ Emotion _ Bodily Reaction
1. Argued against this view
James & Lange
Stimulus - Bodily Reaction - Emotion
Question: Whether the physiological arousal causes of just follows
emotion activation
1. Important because if arousal causes emotion, then
physiology is important
oTwo assumptions
Body reacts uniquely to different emotion-eliciting events
Body does not react to nonemotion-eliciting events
1. Ex: Reaction to cold shower
Physiological: Heart rate increases, breathing
increases, widened eyes
Begins before you have time to process
Bodily reactions were actually part of body's fight or flight
response; did not vary emotion to emotion
Emotional experience was quicker than physiological reaction
1. Takes nervous system longer time to activate glands and
Arousal was to augment emotion, not cause it
Contemporary Perspective
oEkman, Levenson, Friesen
Studied whether each of several emotions does or does not have
unique patterns of body changes
1. Recruited actors to relive five different emotions
Anger, fear, sadness, joy and disgust
2. Measured emotion specific patterns
Used heart rate and skin temperature
Anger: Heart rate and skin temperature
Fear: Heart rate increases skin temperature
Sadness: Hear rate up, ST stable
Joy: Heart stable, skin up
Disgust: HR and ST decreases
Different emotions produce
distinguishable patterns of bodily activity
Distinctive Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) Activity
1. Patterns of ANS activity emerged in 5 emotions because
they were able to recruit ways of behaving that were adaptive
Only a few emotions have ANS patterns
If no specific pattern of behaviour has
survival value, little reason for development of a
specific pattern of ANS activity
Eg: Jealousy, joy, hope

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No reason to suspect single
pattern of ANS to evolve
1. Physiological arousal accompanies, regulates and sets
stage for emotion, but does not directly cause it
1. Emotions recruit biological and physiological support to
enable adaptive behaviours like fighting, fleeing and nurturing
Specific Neural Circuits
Neuroanatomical findings documented existence of three distinct
neural circuits which regulates patterns of emotional behaviour
1. Behavioural Approach System
Readies animal to seek out and interact with
attractive environmental opportunities
2. Fight or Flight System
Readies animal to flee from aversive events but
defend aggressively against others
3. Behavioural Inhibition System
Readies animal to freeze in face of aversive events
oNeural Activation
Different emptions activated by different rates of cortical neural
1. Pattern of electro cortical activity
Three basic patterns
Activity increases
Ex: Sleeping & cat jumps on face:
Neural firing increases
Causes surprise, fear or interest
Depending on suddenness of
increases rate of neural firing
Slight : Interest
Moderate: Fear
Dramatic : Surprise
If constantly maintained at a
high level; activates either distress or anger
Depends on
magnitude of neural stimulation
Continuously high: Distress
Continuously very high :
Activity decreases
Ex: At a rock concert and go outside:
Neural firing decreases
Activity remains constant
Ex: Cognitive effort in reading a
Equips person for every life event
Differential Emotions Theory
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