The Feeling Brain : The Biology And Psychology Of Emotions Essay

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The Feeling Brain: The Biology and Psychology of Emotions Book Review Summary: Chapter 1 explains the work of a Harvard psychologist named William James. William published the article “What is an Emotion?” in a philosophical journal entitled Mind in 1884. His paper is an argument for the primacy and necessity of bodily systems in producing emotional feelings. James-Lange theory states that physiological arousal instigates the experience of emotion. A Harvard physiologist, Walter Cannon, roundly criticized James’ theory, claiming that, according to the Cannon Bard theory, physiological changes follow emotional expression. Chapter 2 is centered on the early attempts to identify the brain’s components of emotions. Key researchers that are discussed are a Cornell neuroanatomist, James Papez, and aforementioned physician and neuroscientist Paul MacLean, who worked at Yale and the National Institutes of Mental Health. Together, this pair of researchers conducted seminal medial temporal lobe lesion experiments. The resulting idea was that the emotional brain is composed of a set of interconnected structures in the core of the brain. MacLean dubbed these structures as the “limbic system”. The function of the limbic system and it relationship to emotion was widely debated by many researchers. Chapter 3 explores the concept of universally shared basic emotions, an idea that was first advanced as a theory by Charles Darwin. Paul Ekman and Jakk Panksepp studied the concept of

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