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Physiology of Emotion PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Physiology of Emotion. Emotional response patterns Emotional communication Emotional experience. Emotional response patterns. Observable behaviors Facial expression Stance or posture Voice characteristics Movement patterns Autonomic responses Fight or flight patterns Hormone secretion.

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Physiology of Emotion

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Physiology of emotion l.jpg

Physiology of Emotion

Emotional response patterns

Emotional communication

Emotional experience


Emotional response patterns l.jpg

Emotional response patterns

  • Observable behaviors

    • Facial expression

    • Stance or posture

    • Voice characteristics

    • Movement patterns

  • Autonomic responses

    • Fight or flight patterns

    • Hormone secretion


Neural systems of emotional response patterns l.jpg

Neural systems of emotional response patterns

  • The amygdala

    • Medial nucleus: Sensory input, especially odor, relayed to forebrain and hypothalamus

    • Central nucleus: Sensory input via cortex and thalamus, relayed to hypothalamus and brainstem nuclei

    • Basal nucleus: Sensory input relayed to rest of amygdala and to PAG


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The central nucleus

  • Plays the major role in emotional response patterns

  • Affects hypothalamus and both branches of ANS: Increased HR and BP; ulcers, urination, and defecation

  • Affects brainstem nuclei to increase arousal (VTA), vigilance (LC), cortex activation (DLTN and nucleus basalis) and startle (pons)


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More central nucleus effects

  • Freezing response (PAG)

  • Facial expression (trigeminal and facial nerve nuclei)

  • Adrenal secretions (paraventricular nucleus)

  • Destruction of central nucleus limits emotional response patterns.

  • Electrical stimulation of central nucleus triggers fear, agitation, stress illness


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Emotional response patterns in research

  • Conditioned emotional response

  • Augmented startle response

  • Central nucleus damage limits both

  • Humans show both patterns, with analogous results from damage

  • Right amygdala activity is associated with enhanced memory of emotionally arousing material


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The orbital frontal cortex: Emotional inhibition of action

  • Multiple and broad inputs and outputs

  • Damage (by accident or surgery)

    • To treat tumors

    • To relieve emotional distress

  • Blocks practical, but not theoretical, judgment and planning

  • GSR measures of emotional arousal to anticipated bad outcomes (Bechara et al, 1997, 1999)


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The cingulate gyrus: Emotional excitation of action

  • Electrical stimulation triggers emotional feelings

  • Destruction produces akinetic mutism

  • Is activated by provoking stimuli

  • Anterior cingulate cortex is more active in extraverts

  • Prefrontal cortex is more active in introverts


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Emotional communication: The right frontal cortex


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