Where do Emotions Begin?

Dr. Jaak Panksepp (click to play audio)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 Archeology 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.

listen-to-audio Listen to Episode 91

Click here for detailed shownotes and free transcript.

CEUs for Psychologists

Subscribe to the Brain Science Podcast: itunes-badge-30 zunelogo-70 feed-icon32x32 mail-sticker-tiny

Bruce Hood Returns (BSP 88)

Bruce Hood, PhD

The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood is a fascinating look at how our brains create both our experience of the world and our sense of being a single, coherent self. As the word "illusion" in the title indicates, neither is exactly what it seems. When I interviewed Dr. Hood (for BSP 88) he explained that The Self Illusion is a broad introduction to this somewhat surprising idea. The  Self Illusion was written with a general audience in mind. For those already familiar with the topic he also puts a new emphasis on the role of development. All readers should come away with a new appreciation for the critical role social interactions play through out human life.

It was fun to talk with Dr. Hood again. I first interviewed him for Books and Ideas #34. At that time we discussed his first book, SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable.

listen-to-audio Listen to BSP 88

Click here for the full show notes and FREE episode transcript.

 

Subscribe to the Brain Science Podcast: itunes-badge-30 zunelogo-70 feed-icon32x32 mail-sticker-tiny

Disgust with Rachel Herz (BSP 86)

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.

Listen to Episode 86

Episode Transcript (Free PDF)

Subscribe to the Brain Science Podcast: itunes-badge-30 zunelogo-70 feed-icon32x32 mail-sticker-tiny

  

 

Annoucements:

 

William Uttal on "Mind and Brain" (BSP 83)

William Uttal, PhD"There is nothing more exciting than the mind/brain problem" according to Dr. William Uttal, author of Mind and Brain: A Critical Appraisal of Cognitive Neuroscience. In the latest episode of the Brain Science Podcast (BSP 83) I talked with Dr. Uttal about why he feels that brain imaging can not solve this mystery. First, there is the problem that brain imaging represents the wrong level of analysis because every spot you see on a brain scan actaully represents thousands of neurons. This means that the activity and interaction between individual neurons has been lost. Then there is the problem of reproducibility, with divergent results between studies. The evidence is accumulating that "much of the brain responds to any stimulus, and every area of the brain participates in multiple functions." This means that asking where a given function occurs may be the wrong question.

BSP 83 represents an on-going discussion of these issues, so I have included links to related episodes in the show notes. 

 Listen to Episode 83

Click here for full show notes and free episode transcript.

 

Subscribe to the Brain Science Podcast: itunes-badge-30 zunelogo-70 feed-icon32x32 mail-sticker-tiny