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NATS 1860 Lecture Notes - Phineas Gage, Paul Ekman, Walter Bradford Cannon

Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1860
Keith Schneider

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NATS 1860 Note 8
Ancient theories of Emotion
- Democritus
o Liver desire, heart anger, head reason
- Plato
o Liver = appetitive aspects of soul
o Heart = spirited aspects of soul
o Head = rational aspects of soul
- Aristotle
o Passions = appetite, anger, fear, confidence, envy , joy, love, hatred,
longing, emulation, pity, pleasure and pain in general
o Animals and humans share some of the passions
o Emotions involve intellect
o Humans can influence their emotions
o Heart is influential in emotional expression
- Galen
o Liver = desire, Heart = temperature and vitality, Brain = intellect
- Notice how there is an interactive between holistic medicine and
- Different levels of emotion are mirrored in the brain
- Human beings are unique, in the sense of our physiology.
o We’re capable of reflecting on our emotional experience: we know
that we feel something
Francois-Xavier Bichat (18th-19th)
- 1805 theory of organic and inorganic lif
- Organic life:
o Governed by asymmetrical organs
o Associated with “passions”
o Metabolic functions
o Heart is the center
- Animal life:
o Governed by symmetrical organs (eyes, ears, limbs…)
o Habit and memory
o Ruled by will and intellect
o Higher functions
- Different illness ascribed to the two systems
Charles Bell (18th-19th)
- 1806 Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting
- Dissection and observation of muscles of the face used in facial expression
- His illustrations were used by Darwin
- Bell-Magendie Law motor and sensory nerve roots
- Bell’s palsy
- If you lose the capability of smiling, then you cannot communicate to other
people that you’re feeling a certain way.
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o This way we can express how we can survive
o It’s a logical process
If someone rolls his or her eyes, we know why.
Guillaume Duchenne de Bologne (19th)
- Interested in facial muscles read Bell’s work
- 1850 used electricity to stimulate specific muscles
- 1862 Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine
- First to use clinical photography
- Specific muscles identified for specific expressions
- Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy
- A scientific approach that instead others, like Darwin
Charles Darwin (19th)
- 1872 Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
- Both animals and humans share emotions
- Praise for Bell and Duchenne
- Emotions are characteristic of species are inherited
- Emotions are adaptive (widening eyes dilation of the pupils; snarling
biting, causing fear in an opponent)
- Similarity in human expressions suggests the were attributes of a common
- Emotions are innate, not learned (studied his infant son)
- He says you don’t need to turn to an explanation of a creator for the
complexity of life. He’s extending his views to emotion
- Qualities of species are things that have been developed through Natural
- There’s a clear indication of emotion how we feel, however as we grow older
we gain more master in displaying our emotions.
Paul Ekman (20th)
- Wanted to find a culture that wouldn’t focus on media of culture
- Asked whether emotions are learned or innate
- Did research in 1967 with New Guineans who had never seen media
- Discovered 6 shared emotions
- Inspiration for TV show Lie to Me
- Works with law enforcement, and with the Dalai Lama
- This is done in order to detect lying;
o He would put them in a room, were there is money and asks them to
steal and not steal. The ability to find micro-expressions is easy to
detect lying.
- Id: Involved in the psychoanalytic theories of human motivations and
feelings, it’s also inspired by localization theories in neuroscience. Look for
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