Topics: Emotion, Psychology, Empathy Pages: 7 (1515 words) Published: May 1, 2014
Emotion is often defined as a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior.  According To David G. Meyers:
human emotion involves "...physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." The term emotion usually is distinguished from feelings, mood, and affect. 1. Feeling: the subjective experience associated with an

2. Mood: an emotional state that is general and extended in time. 3. Affect: encompasses feelings and mood and categories of emotion (e.g., positive or negative affect).

Emotion functions to:
1. Increase, decrease, or regulate arousal.
2. Direct perception and attention.
3. Influence learning and memory.
4. Organize and motivate behavior.
5. Communicate with other.
Role Of Emotion
Emotions can play an important role in how we think and behave. First, it is important to understand the three critical components of an emotion. Our emotions are composed of a subjective component (how we experience the emotion), a physiological component (how our bodies react to the emotion), and an expressive component (how we behave in response to the emotion). These different elements can play a role in the function and purpose of our emotional responses The Neuroscience of Emotion

1.Brain mechanisms of emotional recognition and experience
A. Brain systems important in emotion:
1.Many interrelated brain structures are involved in the
recognition and experience of various emotions, often loosely defined as the limbic system.
2. Several subcortical structures are important in emotion.
a. Damage to the amygdala impairs recognition and
expression of fear, anger, and happiness.
b. Damage to the basal ganglia impairs recognition and
expression of disgust.
B.Lateralized function of cerebral hemispheres
1. Right hemisphere
a. High activity is associated with depression and flexion (avoidant) motions.
b. More active than left hemisphere during displays of
many emotions.
c. Damage often leaves individuals emotionally
indifferent and unable to read many emotions.
2. Left hemisphere
a. More active than right during smiling, positive
emotions, and extension (approach) motions.
b. Relatively low activity in the left frontal lobe is
associated with depression.

2. Neuroendocrine arousal mechanisms
A. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system controls stress hormones that facilitate short-term coping with emotional events.
1. Hypothalamus: Brain region that regulates hormonal functions via the pituitary gland.
2. Pituitary gland: “Master gland” that receives messages from hypothalamus and relays signals to endocrine glands to
regulate hormones.
B. The autonomic nervous system controls responses to cognitive and environmental stimuli that give rise to emotional responses. 1. The sympathetic nervous system releases norepinephrine
onto peripheral targets (i.e., organs, glands, or muscles)
to prepare the body for vigorous activity (e.g., increased
respiration, sweating, and heartbeat).
3 . Application: Lie detection
A. People have tried to develop a reliable way to detect deception for hundreds of years.
B. During the 20th century, devices sensitive to sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity were developed as “lie detectors.” 1. The logic is that lying makes people nervous, which is reflected in increased SNS activity (e.g., racing heart, sweaty hands.) 2. Polygraph results are only rarely admissible in court. In 1988, a U.S. law made it illegal for employers to ask employees to take a polygraph test except under limited circumstances.

C. Critique: Lie detector machines are unreliable. “Good liars” may be judged truthful, and honest people may be judged to be lying (National Research Council, 2003).
D. Alternative approaches
1. Guilty knowledge...
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