Basic Emotions and Facial Expression

It is widely thought that a small number of emotions are basic or primary. Data suggest that there are six basic emotional expressions: happiness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, and sadness. However, these categories are without clearly demarcated boundaries and show some overlap (e.g., facial expressions can be members of more than one category). The conceptual structure of emotions may thus bear some similarity to the conceptual structure of colors. As with primary colors, there are basic emotions, and, like colors, an emotion can be a blend of other emotions. Basic emotions correspond closely to the emotions signaled from human facial expressions. The basic emotional expressions are recognized easily by normal subjects and are recognized consistently across very different cultures, as shown in the work of the psychologist Paul Ekman.

VOLITIONAL CONTROL AREAS (e.g. frontal and motor cortices)

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