Phi 105 Comparison Paper

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Emotions
Psychology 240
September 21, 2012
April Sherman (Vandewater)

There are many theories of emotion in biopsychology. These theories are based upon the Darwin, James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories. One other biopsychology theories of emotion is based upon the limbic system (Pinel, 2009).

Darwin’s publication of The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals theorized that facial expression and emotional states follow one another (Pinel, 2009). Darwin suggested that emotion is to be evolution based. An example of Darwin’s theory relates to threat displays in which an angry facial expression might accompany a hostile emotional state as this may be seen in disagreements (Pinel, 2009).

The James-Lange theory suggest that emotion induced stimuli received and interpreted by the brain cortex trigger changes in visceral organs by way of the autonomic nervous system as well as in the skeletal muscles via the somatic nervous system (Pinel, 2009). These changes are then responsible for emotion in the brain (Pinel, 2009).

Cannon and Bard suggested emotion to be the response of two independent excitatory effects (Pinel, 2009). Under their theory emotional stimuli trigger feelings of emotion in both the brain and the expression of such emotion in the autonomic and somatic nervous systems (Pinel, 2009). The Cannon-Bard theory differs from the James-Lange theory in that Cannon and Bard believed emotional experiences and expressions to be parallel processes rather than the James and Lange belief that emotion has a direct causal relation (Pinel, 2009).

The final theory is based on the limbic system which suggests emotional expression is controlled by the border of the thalamus and that the expression of emotional states is dependent upon the interaction of limbic structures on the hypothalamus. This theory further suggested that these emotional states to be experienced due to the interaction of the limbic structures and the cortex (Pinel, 2009).

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