BS 135 is an interview with Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of How Emotions Are Made. We explore the evidence AGAINST the classical assumption that emotions are universal and hard-wired, but we also discuss a fascinating new Theory of Constructed Emotion, which is very consistent with current neuroscience.Read More
Dr. Jaak Panksepp
In his new book, The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions, Jaak Panksepp set out to make his life's work more accessible to a general audience. To be honest, reading this book requires a significant commitment, but I think he does a wonderful job of updating his classic textbook, Affective Neuroscience. Anyone who is interested in this field will definitely want this book as a reference.
The other strength of Archeology of Mind is its evolutionary approach. The primary emotional processes that Panksepp has spent his career studying have their origins in the ancient parts of the brain that are shared by all mammals. This contradicts longstanding assumptions in neuroscience, but it has important implications for both humans and other animals.
In Episode 91 of the Brain Science Podcast, Dr. Panksepp and I talked about some of the new information contained in Archaeology of Mind, with a particular focus on FEAR, which, contrary to what many researchers claim, does NOT begin in the amygdala, but begins much lower. We do talk briefly about the experimental evidence, but this was covered in more detail during Dr. Panksepp's previous appearance on the Brain Science Podcast in BSP 65.
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The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions, by Jaak Panksepp and Lucy Biven.
Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions, by Jaak Panksepp.
Please see the episode transcript for additional links and references.
BSP 32: An introduction to brain anatomy.
BSP 47: A review of brain evolution.
BSP 89: Interview with Evan Thompson, author of Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind.
BSP 90: Review of Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain, by Antonio Damasio.
The earliest episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are now disappearing from iTunes but they remain freely available here. They are also available within the Brain Science Podcast app for mobile devices. By the way, the mobile app has been updated, and I need users to post new reviews.
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Disgust is an universal emotion, but unlike emotions like fear and anger, disgust must be learned. This is the main conclusion of Dr. Rachel Herz's latest book, That's Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion. In a recent interview (BSP 86), Dr. Herz told me why she spent the last several years studying this rather unusual subject. We also discussed what the study of disgust can tell us about how our brains process emotion.
This is Dr. Herz's second visit to the Brain Science Podcast. Back in BSP 34 we talked about her first book, The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell.
How to get this episode:
- The episode transcript contains additional links and references.
- My new eBook, Are You Sure? The Unconscious Origins of Certainty, is now available at Amazon.com. If you want the PDF version, just send me a copy of your Amazon receipt and I will send you the PDF for no additional cost.
- Please post reviews of Are You Sure? on Amazon, Goodreads, or on your blog.
Episode 65 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Jaak Panksepp, PhD, author of Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions. Dr. Panksepp has done pioneering work on the neural origins of emotions. In this interview, we discuss how his work challenges some of the common assumptions about emotions and some of the important implications of his discoveries. New listeners may want to go back and listen to Episode 11 for an introduction to the neuroscience of emotion.
How to get this episode:
- Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions, by Jaak Panksepp.
- "How to Undress the Affective Mind: An Interview with Jaak Panksepp," S. Gallagher, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 15, Number 2, 2008 , pp. 89-119(31).
- "Affective consciousness: Core emotional feelings in animals and humans,"J Panksepp, Consciousness and Cognition 14 (2005)30-80. Elsevier. (available on-line via ScienceDirect.com)
- Visit Dr. Panksepp's faculty page for more references.
Scientists Mentioned in this Episode:
- John Bowlby: studied the effects of maternal deprivation, helped develop attachment theory.
- John Cacioppo: developed the concept of social neuroscience.
- Antonio Damasio: neurologist and author of several books including The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness.
- Walter Hess: work in the 1930's showed that stimulation of the cat hypothalamus led to anger. He shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1949.
- Tom Insel: Director of the National Institutes for Mental Health (NIMH).
- William James: early pioneer of scientific psychology. The James-Lange Theory of emotion is an outdated theory that emotion result from the brain's interpretation of signals coming from the body.
- Eric Kandel: won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work with memory in the Aplysia.
- Brian Knutson: former student of Panksepp.
- Joseph LeDoux: well-known for his work with fear and memory.
- Endel Tulving: memory researcher at the University of Toronto.
- For all the scientists mentioned see the episode transcript.
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This episode is a short introduction to the idea that our emotions are an essential part of our intelligence.
- We discuss the basic emotions, based on the work of anthropologist Paul Eckman.
- We learn about culturally-learned emotions, such as "being a wild pig," which is observed among the Gurumba people of New Guinea.
- Paul Griffiths introduced the idea of "higher cognitive emotions."
- Emotions seem to exist on a continuum from the highly innate basic emotions to the culturally specific emotions.
- The work of Joseph Ledoux and Antonio Damasio reveal that our emotions are an important element of normal intelligence.
- We consider how fear actually follows two pathways in the brain.
- We consider the role of the limbic system including the amygdala.
- We consider the relationship between emotions and mood.
- We consider how mood affects memory and decision making.
- We briefly consider the question of whether computers could ever display emotions.
The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness (2000), by Antonio Damasio.