Thursday, March 24, 2011

Human emotions

Language has long been regarded as a purely abstract symbol system that has nothing to do with the body, however, has changed this view, as more and more studies indicated a strong mutual influence of language and physical reactions out.

Francesco Foroni & Gün Semin (in press) were test subjects read words on a screen while they monitored with electrodes, the activity of two facial expressions for the major facial muscles: the JochmuskelThat controls the angle of the mouth, and the StirnrunzlerResponsible for the up and down movement of the eyebrows. Half of the words referring to positive emotions, the other negative. Both groups consisted of verbs such as smile, laugh, smile and frown and cry, scream and described, the body processes, and in general adjectives like funny, funny, irritating or annoying, which included a more abstract state.

Especially with the verbs, the researchers observed a significant effect: only the positive words were twitch of the mouth, the negative relinquished the Stirnrunzler in action. It even had Impact on the mood of the subjects - Even if the words as they served up were short, they perceived that they do not realize, as another study showed. The positive terms and the physical reaction brought on to the fact that the test participants were funny cartoon pictures, as if they had seen a negative concept. the muscle activity was prevented by the subject held a pen with his lips, remained in the merriment. Appears to cause the hearing of words not only an activity in the brain areas responsible for movement, but this Activity is translated into physical reactions.
The processing of language is thus a physical simulation of the heard hand in hand, which is indispensable for understanding vermutich. The same effect can be observed when someone observes an emotional facial expression in another, both reactions are likely to put themselves better compared to his. These unconscious processes probably affect how certain operations are evaluated in the environment.

We feel what we hear

In a study by the University of Otago, subjects were asked to interpret the computer-generated, expressionless faces as either angry or happy. Then, participants saw a computer simulation in which the faces changed from a happy to an angry expression through, the subjects should identify the look that they had seen before. Here, the initial interpretation had obviously been impressed, for those who had seen the face as angry, really angry chose now more of a look, those who had seen a supposedly happy face, decided to use the joyous expression. When selecting the subjects imitated with their own facial muscles that angry or happy face they believed to preview. Offnsichtlich people see things not as they are, but as they themselves, ie, that one's faith influence the perception of the environment significantly.

Based on neurobiological findings, it is assumed that emotion and cognitive function are not independent, ie when there is a unity of mind and feeling. So people lose a specific brain damage in the area of ​​the cortex präfontalen their emotions while they are no longer in a position to make rational informed decisions (Damasio 1995, 2000). Intellect and emotion, rationality and emotion are, therefore, to each other in a complementary relationship. 

Damasio believes that feelings are indispensable for rationality and give us the direction in thinking. As the world nesitzt almost unmanageable choice, sends the Emotional Experience memory We have acquired in the course of life, from signals to simplify the decision for us, by excluding from the outset certain options and other stresses. Thus emotions have an intelligence that is in practical matters of great weight. The interplay between emotion and rationality directs the emotional "knowledge" of our current decisions. So never think is happening without the involvement of emotions, for purely cognitive messages are not possible because they are neither relevant, nor can attract attention. As long as messages addressed to the mind, even if they are repeated hundreds of times, no emotional impact, no "emotional punch" (Imprint) leave, they are not observed. This applies vice versa for emotions that are always tied to the cognitions.
Machinery covered by the sensory information that is associated with emotional information - which applies to most of cognition - that burns therefore sustainable in our brain, because there are probably a lot more nerve connections that run from the emotional center in the limbic system for cognitively oriented Cortex than vice versa. Therefore, our behavior is usually much more influenced by our feelings than by planning logic. Moreover, the limbic / emotional system is a kind of control center, which forwards the information to the cortex.

In the Advertising and Marketing are more immediately the two positive emotions fundamentals, namely, interest or pleasure addressed, with considerable combinations are given with cognitive components and differentiation, such as the use of linguistic, visual, episodic, musical and extra olfactory stimuli.
Attempts in adults, which we presented the choice to cash in either 50 € or equal to wait a week and einzustreifen then 60 € revealed in the observation by means of imaging methods that at the moment the choices made in the 50-euro people " cingulate gyrus was the active, ie that region which is the conscious experience of feeling important. In subjects who were able to delay their spontaneous reaction, a week, however, were more developed regions of the brain active, which have more to do with conscious experience. The limbic system - a legacy of our early mammalian ancestors thus represents the human "emotional intelligence", these reactions are spontaneous and pushing the cerebrum to act quickly.

Feelings persist cognitions

Justin Feinstein (University of Iowa) showed in studies with subjects whose hippocampus (responsible for the storage of new experiences) is violated, that they are still Feelings experience even if they have forgotten the reason already. His subjects could remember shortly after the film but not to critical details, but Did you emotionally still, if they had seen a cheerful or depressing film. Obviously there are more events triggered by certain emotions, even though the responsible rational experience is long forgotten.

Emotion and Cognition

Lawrence Barsalou (Emory University, Atlanta) suggests that behind metaphors more than pure language games, simulations for sensory, physical conditions and current actions are the foundation of human thought ("grounded cognition"). To prove this connection, let Zhong & Leonardelli (University of Toronto) had students recall an experience in which they felt isolated and marginalized. Then they estimated the room temperature about two degrees cooler than a trial participants who had a shared experience brought to mind. They experienced so how cold can feel the loneliness. Metaphors are not just linguistic elements with which to entertain people, but the researchers believe are essential containers in order to understand the world and to learn. People learn early on that a warm body feeling - such as when the mother takes in the arm - ie affection. This connection is so strong that the insular cortex in the cerebrum not only responds to physical warmth, but also to touch and human warmth and is the same active region, if you feel excluded, or rejected.   In another experiment, the subjects initially had painful memories of typing into a computer and were asked Danch whether they would participate in another experiment, the student must complete a supposedly urgent. 74 percent said yes to. However, participants were allowed to clean up after the first test their hands with disinfectant solution is reduced, the helpfulness drastically, then there were only 41 percent ready. Apparently, they felt morally obligated less than the other, their painful feelings "wash" could not. Obviously also depend on the feelings of guilt and defilement related.

Lawrence Williams and John Bargh (Boulder and Yale University) allowed their subjects to an excuse a cup of hot or cold coffee in your hand. A little later they should judge a fictitious person from whom they had received a brief written description. Who had had hot coffee, the fictitious person described as more generous, happy, friendly, sociable and caring. Who had to keep cold coffee tended to a much cooler verdict. Apparently, activated only the feeling of heat caused by the hot coffee in the brain the memory of early childhood warmth that one has received from his parents, that of trust and security. This may explain why we selected temperature-related metaphors to describe social integration or isolation. Williams and Bargh expressed in a study their subjects either a therapeutic heat pack or an ice pack in his hand and then offered them to various rewards. The subjects with warm hands majority wanted a souvenir for a friend, while three-quarters of the reward Eispackhalter wanted to retain.

Emotion and Language - The metaphors

Metaphors and their effect on the psyche

Emotional activity is always associated with physical reactions, and the emotional activity when listening to music, effects on the autonomic nervous system. Besides the importance for the individual in the Musikperzeption probably the automatic Passing by without grooving, clap along, dance along, sing along or even social functions, For example, for a group of bonds between individuals or between individuals of different groups. This probably also evolutionarily positive social aspects of making music will be accompanied by positive effects on the immune system and may represent an important source of evolution, cooperative, collaborative music making in humans.

The human body is probably designed so that urgent action is oriented towards social activities, regenerative effect on a vital system of our organism. Community music making - that is interactive, fine feeling, cooperative activity - represented on such a community oriented toward activity.

The human Brain processed according to recent research Music and language largely with the same cognitive processes and also the same cerebral structures, suggesting that music and language in the brain are closely linked, and that the brain often makes no essential difference between language and music. Research shows that Non-musicians musical syntax processing can accurately and understand musical semantics. The implicit musiksyntaktische knowledge is likely due to a large extent everyday listening experiences acquired, as a matter of course, by the way, without any effort and often without people even realizing. These assumptions are consistent with studies showing that the ability to acquire knowledge about musical regularities and the ability to process musical information fast and accurately in accordance with this knowledge, a general ability of the human brain is.

Offenschtlich is the pronounced Interest of music, a fundamental property of the brain, and that a strong musicality is also a natural ability of the human brain. This general human ability underscores the biological relevance of music. The studies on Emotion show with music, that music is an extensive network of limbic and paralimbic structures - can activate, and that listening to soothing music can lead automatically to premotor activity - that is, the brain structures that are central for the processing of emotion. Emotional emotional activity, premotor activity and physical activity responses also have a meaning for the individual, listening to music, with the decryption of this importance is seen as a likely understanding of music.
Jakobson, Lewycky, Kilgour & Stoesz (2008), in a study also geeigt that musicians develop a better memory not only for music but also for words and pictures. However, this design different shopping strategies by approximately memorize not verbalized. Obviously, the global processing strategy in the imprint is also more effective than the non-musicians.

Emotion and music

Specific neurons in the premotor cortex form in primates a mechanism for recognizing the importance of actions that are performed by others, by Rizzolatti (University of Parma) were strikingly called "mirror neurons" - has in the relevant technical jargon, this brain region called F5 - because they still active when certain movements are performed by other organisms. These nerve cells are so well when you run an action and when observing another person in the same action active. From this activity of "mirror neurons" probably depends on the ability of people off to enable another person to be able to empathize and. As an American study of seven-to twelve-year-olds showed empathy does not come only through education, as seen with children, where other people suffered pain in the brain were those areas reinforced selected, which are also involved in the processing of their own pain.

After today, unfortunately, by popular science articles are popular image mirror neurons therefore used by evolution, inherited knowledge of instruments that give us the gift to cross the mental gap that separates us from the others. However, characterize all higher functions of the nervous system alone under the influence of experience and learning, because when a monkey moved a hand, he most certainly the image of his hand moving eyes. That can only mean that "move your hand," an association between the concept and the image of the moving hand formed and learn. This requires the nerve cells but does not much react with the same activity on the movement of the hand of another monkey, because the monkey requires only the ability, the similarity between his own body and the other monkeys to recognize. We now know that many mental functions are influenced heavily by the context and complex external factors. A man who the witness is resident suffering falls, not mechanically under the influence of his mirror cells in the "compassion" mode, but it depends on subtle assess whether the needs of others will skip, for instance, whether he has his troubles on themselves. This is an intelligence service that can provide a mirror neuron on its own. Indeed, some phenomena that have been attributed to the action of mirror neurons to explain but not through this mechanism
Gallese (Parma University) examined the premotor cortex of primates, which is used for the planning and execution of goal-oriented movements. By chance, he observed that the same neurons fell already in excitement when an investigator took things in hand, with which an object was associated. These objects were motionless on a table, the nerve cells were also quiet. Obviously was not the motor center for object recognition, but it controls the movement and was also anticipated in the situation, aims and intentions of a foreign plot and interpret. Further experiments brought the confirmation: The experimental animals were able to guess the intentions of the researcher. Presumably, these "mirror neurons" in a position to interpret the behavior of others and to understand. Sympathy and empathy, learning through imitation, and all forms of human communication might emanate from such mirror neurons.

Even when people were Rizzolatti, Grafton and Iacoboni specific brain regions that are activated during observation of movements: the upper left-temporal sulcus and above the motor speech center (Broca's area) that corresponds to the premotor cortex in primates. These research results support the hypothesis that human language has developed more of an old, gestural communication system than directly from a vocal communication, as suggested by other researchers. Rizzolatti and Arbib believe that reading from the ability of primates, thoughts and understand strange behavior, the human language ability may have evolved. From the inner dialogue between a watch movement and the response of mirror neurons could have arisen the need to express feelings and actions by characters. Ramachandran (San Diego University) considers the increased sophistication of the system of mirror neurons in humans the most important key for the development of human culture. It is believed that "mirror neurons" are also found in other brain regions and could explain various types of sensory perception.

In autistic children not to research by Mirella Dapretto (University of California at Los Angeles), these mirror neurons in the brain sufficiently activated, which produces the inability to assess the state of the opponent. When they examined the brain activity of children, looking at the facial expressions or imitated, was the brain area containing mirror neurons in autistic children slightly less active than in healthy. The weaker the activation turned out, the greater was the effect on social behavior of autistic children.

Also, the Sound of laughing people causes the brain to the facial muscles automatically prepare laugh again, even if the reason unknown to the merriment. Researchers led by Jane Warren played in front of volunteers according to different emotional expressions, and have observed this brain activity. Positive expressions of emotion such as laughter or cheering trigger in premotor cortex, which is responsible for the planning of movements such as laughter, reactions. Here, too, are mirror neurons that respond automatically in voice signals, as has been shown using a functional magnetic resonance imaging. Also Triumph, fun, fear and loathing triggered activity in the premotor cortex, which designs the moves of the facial muscles, the activities were stronger for positive emotion expressions than with disgust and fear. Positive Emotion sounds are apparently contagious than negative.

It has also been shown in studies that Women much more sensitive to emotions - not just subjectively respond to the level of experience, but also in the field of biological support structures in the cortex. These areas or functional areas are also shown in Depression active, sodas probably why women suffer twice as likely as men to depression, because in the brain "activation difference" exists.
Now, we also found that even the Performance of a motor impairment in another person's own reactions inhibits or slows down its own engines. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute (Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Neurological Research) showed subjects photographs of hands, whose fingers were partially fixed. Now, the subjects were asked to move their own index or middle finger. It was found that the responsiveness with which it was slow moving the fingers.

Mirror neurons

Normally Mirror neurons active when people watch other people in how they are affected. The nerve cells "simulate" this observation neuronal, so that contact can be traced. Synesthetes with a very strong coupling between vision and touch, so people who have a different touch in a human watched their body even feel, are very rare. It is believed that they have one over-reacted to the observation of other jurisdictions in the brain.
Ward & Banissy (2007) have studied in a control group design ten such touch synaesthetes, and watch these subjects, as another person on the face or the hand is touched. At the same time they themselves were touched. Both were affected in the same place, it was the synaesthetes easy to specify the location of the actual contact, which is more or less just as difficult as the control group in which there was no synaesthetes. However, the test subjects saw a touch on the side on which they had not even touched, they were hesitant in their responses and made more errors than the control group. This clearly shows that the observed contact for the synaesthetes felt as real as the actual. The observed contact caused evident from such a strong feeling that the subjects they could not distinguish from the real touch.

Also, the sensitivity of the synaesthetes - measured with a questionnaire - is more pronounced than in the control group. It is believed therefore that touch synaesthetes have a better gut feeling for the sentiments of others, what the over-activity of mirror neurons is attributed.

It is believed, according to recent studies (Mukamelet al., 2010) and that disturbance of the mirror neurons play a role in some mental disorders such as in autism, as the action observation neurons and the action execution neurons that respond precisely to monitor and run to different actions, control counterfeiting reactions serve to eg Imitation unwanted behavior to suppress the first place. May play a crucial role Speiegelneuronen to ensure the distinction between the self of a person from others. Mirror neurons make people who watch to like each other, thus leading ultimately to compliant behavior, which happened not in physical presence, but can be mediated within the media. Therefore promote mirror neurons not only empathy, "transfer" but also anger, panic or aggression. They are probably also involved in that mechanism, which makes the viewing depictions of violence in movies or playing first person shooters to a latent learning process.

However, contrary to previous assumptions, this research by Ilan Dinstein (New York University). Were compared in experiments with healthy subjects with autism, this could even perform hand movements or those watching only for others. Functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that the brain activity of the two groups did not differ, which argues strongly against the hypothesis of a broken mirror neuron system in autism.

Synesthesia and Empathy

 By the way, the mirror neurons and for the sense of beauty to be responsible, as Peter soft men under the title "Is beauty only in the brain of the beholder?Writes reports. He of research results, in which the sense of beauty had been examined in more detail in itself and in "objective" and "subjective" criteria of beauty has been broken. As a demonstration of selected one from images of sculptures from the Classical era and the Renaissance, as viewers Two groups were selected from ProbandeInnen: those with experience in art criticism and those without "The 'objective' perspective was examined by the juxtaposition of images of the sculptures from the Classical era and the Renaissance, the canonical proportions showed.. The same images were distorted by image processing software so that they no longer had the right proportions. This study showed that the "golden section" activated in the original works of certain groups of neurons in the cerebral cortex and in the insular cortex. In particular, the insular cortex is known for her role in the assessment of feelings. This reaction was particularly prominent when the observers were asked to leave the works affect only themselves and not to further analyze. Here in the brain, the strongest reactions were seen on the images in the fMRI images. (...) The 'subjective' perspective was examined by the study participants chose a random selection of images themselves on the beauty of the images and them into two categories of anti-aesthetic and aesthetic sorted. The pictures that were sorted subjectively into the category of aesthetic images showed, in the fMRI recordings, activation of the amygdala-the brain region. This brain structure plays a role in newly emerging sense stimuli, who have emotional value. "
Presumably, the sense of beauty in the subjects with experience in the art of criticism two competing processes control is:
  • Firstly, the common activation of groups of neurons in the insular cortex is a key position in the sense of beauty as a function of "objective" Schönheitskritierien.
  • The second type of sense of beauty however, is based on the activation of another brain area, the amygdala. This of sensation is related to their own emotional experiences and embodies the "subjective" sense of beauty. 
Play at the assessment of beauty that is both objective and subjective factors play an important role, with the subjective factors depend on one's own emotional experiences.

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