Re: Emotions

From: Kim Jones <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2008 14:20:11 +1100

On 24/10/2008, at 9:14 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

>> I'm suggesting that emotions are tethered to survival need and
>> protection of values etc.
>> There is radical brain-chemistry change of state under emotions
>> They have a physical effect on the organism having them that can be
>> spotted easily by a 3rd party
>> Feelings are mildly intellectual sensations of value that we have
>> that
>> give us a compass for general decision-making (not warefare or
>> survival)
>> Not the same chemistry involved at all
> Perhaps what you're thinking of is autonomic arousal: racing heart,
> flushing, sweating etc., mediated by the autonomic nervous system and
> by the release of hormones such as adrenaline. The utility of this is
> that it readies the animal for a fight-or-flight response, and
> sometimes that it signals this readiness to observers. However, the
> actual feeling is in the brain, not in the body. Your brain notices
> how your body is responding, and this adds intensity to what you are
> calling a feeling, turning it into what you are calling an emotion.
> Panic attacks are an example of a positive feedback loop where this
> gets out hand: you get anxious, causing your heart to race, you notice
> this and get more anxious, causing your heart to race even more, etc.
> The panic attack can be treated acutely with beta blockers, which
> reduce the body's ability to react to anxiety, or benzodiazepines,
> which reduce the brain's ability to feel anxiety and send signals to
> the body causing arousal.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

Yes - I only add that feelings, which I am differentiating from the
highly aroused emotional feedback loops you describe so well, do not
seem to lend themselves to this inflationary effect. Which is why i
suspect they come packaged with different brain chemistry. It's merely
a sensation of value - almost an abstract thing

We don't get our knickers in a knot over every reaction we notice
going on in our heads.

You can actually choose not to react. It's probably one of those
'faking it for fortune' scenarios I described. Kind of where you
downgrade an emotion to a feeling in order to control it and avoid
being controlled by it

Stoicism if you will

my chief point is the signalling effect to a 3rd party the emotional
state seems to enable, which probably means stoic refusal to express
an emotion may have an altruistic basis

ie you don't want to 'rain on someone's parade' with bad blood and
bile even though you are bursting with it

This 'checking of impulsivity' may be the basis of 'long-term
thinking' - something I note humans aren't very good at

more evidence for the need to get canny about how emotions can cause a
'streaming effect' and cause precipitate headlong rushes

It's actually an act of stoicism, say, for a schoolboy to resist
running to the door of the bus that takes him home. In doing so he
causes a stampede of every other student behind him and the result is
sometimes ugly to behold. The fact that the gene for stoicism doesn't
seem to be finely distributed throughout the population is read in the
prevalence of human bio-mass crushes at the doors of school buses the
world over (except Japan)


> >

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Received on Fri Oct 24 2008 - 23:20:35 PDT

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