Neurobiology of Emotions

In order to understand our body language, we must first understand emotions. Our body reacts differently when we feel angry, afraid, or surprised. Because the blood flow is concentrated in different parts of the body according to the emotional state. When we experience an event, we first react physiologically, then our emotion mechanism kicks in. For example; When we see a lion, the amygdala region of the brain is activated and thus we feel the feeling of fear intensely. As a result, blood flow is diverted to the muscles in the legs, making it easier to escape. From an evolutionary perspective, we need emotions to survive, and when we see danger, the fight-flight mechanism comes into play. The first goal of the species is to survive.

Emotions are the way we express the events we experience that are necessary for life. For example; We get angry when we are wronged, we are sad when we lose a loved one, we are happy when we are successful and we express it with emotions.

Emotion occurs with the functions of the brain The region defined as the limbic system is important in the brain-emotion relationship. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex plays an active role in regulating emotional responses. The amygdala is associated with fear and anger. Studies say that when serotonin levels are low, anger and aggression increase.

According to the facial feedback hypothesis, positive emotion muscles are activated when we smile, which triggers the release of hormones. Based on the hypothesis of first physiological response and then emotion formation, we experience positive emotions when we smile, even when we are not happy. We are more likely to make positive decisions when we experience positive emotions.

While making a decision about an event, our brain first experiences many possibilities in the mind and decides by automatically eliminating bad possibilities according to the emotional responses created against these possibilities. In fact, emotional responses to cognitions are effective in our decisions.

According to Damasio, emotions are divided into basic and social: Basic emotions are related to unconscious processes, and social emotions are related to learning and environmental factors. Even people who say that they are very rational and always act with logic may act with unconscious emotions without being aware of it. Strong emotions affect thought.

Can we learn about emotions? In animal experiments, when a mouse is matched with a shock and a sound, we see that after a while, mice experience fear when they hear that sound and learn under what condition they receive the feeling of fear, in the same way, humans are matched to anxiety with ten matching stimuli such as smells and sounds in their traumatic memories, and anxiety attacks from similar smells and sounds. viable. In line with these researches, we can say that fear is learned based on animal experiments and human experiences, and this is related to the amygdala in the brain. We also learn about other emotions, such as fear.

The Turkish meaning of the word “empathy” is to be able to feel the same, that is, it is defined as the ability to put oneself in the other person’s place and understand what his/her feelings, thoughts and behaviors might be. Although the psychological dimension of empathy is still on the agenda, it has been proven that it also has a biological dimension. In neuroscience studies on empathy, the following experiment has been done on pain: When we witness another person’s pain, a part of the neural network in your brain is activated, as the somatasensory processing will be activated, and we experience pain. With the activation of neurons, we can understand the feelings of the other person, empathize and regulate our social relations. We often ask ourselves why are some people more empathetic? We must remember that the answer to this question is related not only to psychology but also to biology. Each person has their own biological, psychological and social structure, so we should not compare them with each other. We should take care to spend time with people who are good for our souls and bodies, with whom we do not feel alone, and whom we trust. Finally, I would like to share a beautiful saying of Aristotle about anger: Every person gets angry, it is very easy; However, it is neither easy nor easy for everyone to get angry with the desired person, in the right measure, at the right time, at the right place, in the right way.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *