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PSY 120 Lecture Notes - Facial Expression, Limbic System, Mirror Neuron

Course Code
PSY 120
Donna Darbellay

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Psychology 110
January 28 2010
Chapter Eleven: Emotion
Reptilian brain: limbic system
Two Traditions on how we understand emotions:
1. Organic tradition: feelings precedes the thoughts
Biologically based
i. Babies: do not have the ability to think yet but they recognize and respond to
ii. Purely sensory input can stimulate an emotion: immediate reaction to something
that doesn’t even necessary happen to us
iii. Thinking and feeling are not always related
iv. When anxious or feeling down so you change your thoughts. Does that mean
your feelings have changed?
2. She only said the second one for a split second, and never wrote it down
Emotion: is a state of arousal involving facial and bodily changes, brain activation, cognitive
appraisals, subjective feelings, tendencies toward action, and all of the above are shaped by
cultural rules.
Elements of emotion: the body
Primary emotions: emotions considered to be universal and biologically based
- Fear
- Anger
- Sadness
- Joy
- Surprise
- Disgust
- Contempt
- (Pride?)
Secondary emotions: emotions that develop with cognitive maturity and vary across individual
and cultures
- Arrogance
Neuroscientist and researchers study three major biological aspects of emotion
i) Facial expressions
ii) Brain regions and circuits
iii) Automatic nervous system
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