Dynamic Representation Of Body

(e.g. brainstem, thalamus, somatosensory cortices, insula)

Figure 1 Time line relating the different components of emotion. A stimulus is perceived via a sensory organ, in most cases relayed through the thalamus to sensory cortex. The amygdala and other trigger structures receive projections from thalamus and from sensory cortex at many different levels. These trigger structures then project both to effector structures, such as hypothalamus, that effect changes in autonomic and endocrine activity and to volitional control areas, which are responsible for motor behavior and higher order cognition. All of these areas also project to areas which represent the body state and contribute to the subjective experience, or feeling, of emotion.

Figure 1 Time line relating the different components of emotion. A stimulus is perceived via a sensory organ, in most cases relayed through the thalamus to sensory cortex. The amygdala and other trigger structures receive projections from thalamus and from sensory cortex at many different levels. These trigger structures then project both to effector structures, such as hypothalamus, that effect changes in autonomic and endocrine activity and to volitional control areas, which are responsible for motor behavior and higher order cognition. All of these areas also project to areas which represent the body state and contribute to the subjective experience, or feeling, of emotion.

Although basic emotions may rely on largely innate factors, they do not appear immediately in infancy. Rather, like the development of language, emotions mature in a complex interplay between an infant's inborn urge to seek out and to learn certain things and the particular environment in which this learning takes place. Considerable learning important to emotion takes place between an infant and its mother. Some emotions that are present very early on, such as disgust, can be elaborated and applied metaphorically to a very large number of situations in the adult. For instance, all infants make a stereotyped face of disgust (as will most mammals) when they have ingested an unpalatable food. In adulthood, both the lexical term "disgust" and the facial expression are applied more broadly, for example to include responses to other people whom one finds distasteful. Although the circumstances in which an emotional expression may be elicited can be complex and can depend on the culture, a basic core set of emotional reactions are likely shared across different cultures.

Each of the basic emotions is distinct at the level of concept, experience, and expression, but psychological studies have also examined the possibility that there might be factors shared by these emotions. There is evidence from both cognitive psychology and psycho-physiology that valence (pleasantness/unpleasantness) and arousal are two orthogonal factors that may capture the entire spectrum of basic emotions. Data from normal subjects show that emotions, as depicted both in facial expressions and in verbal labels, can be represented on a two-dimensional grid with valence high arousal

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