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emotions before feelings 
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Post emotions before feelings
Was it hard for anyone else to accept the idea that emotions happen before feelings? I thought that I would point out two sections of the book that won me over.
In chapter 2, Damasio discusses a patient with parkinsonian symptoms. As part of her treatment doctors were stimulating her brain stem with electrical current. When doctors stimulated a certain area the patient began to suddenly and unexpectedly cry. Then, she reported a feeling of sadness.
In chapter 3, Damasio discusses an experiment measuring brain response to joy and sadness. Subjects were to think about emotional times in their lives. They were to make hand-signals as soon as they began feeling emotions. Subjects showed physiological responses before indicating with a hand movement that they were feeling sad or joyful.
This is a brief summary of the two sections that convinced me. I would suggest reading or re-reading these sections from the book for more clarification.




Tue Jan 13, 2004 5:12 pm
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Post Re: emotions before feelings
I've struggled with the concept, but think I'm on the same page as Damasio at this point. Once I get a little deeper into the book I'll comment more on this.

Chris

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"



Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:37 pm
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Post Re: emotions before feelings
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Was it hard for anyone else to accept the idea that emotions happen before feelings?


Tara, I found it difficult to try to even separate the ideas of emotions and feelings, let alone accept that an emotion in response to an "emotionally competent stimulus" preceded any feeling I had regarding that stimulus. In fact it appears that Damasio begins chapter 3 by explaining that feelings are not actually in direct response to the original stimulus at all and are in response to the later emotion. It is still difficult to comprehend the complexity of such a "chain" of events taking place throughout the brain and the rest of the body. I look forward to reading more of what Damasio has to say about feelings and emotions as I slowly grasp the dynamics of our amazing brains.

Eric




Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:36 am


Post Re: emotions before feelings
Definitions of emotion and feeling might be fuzzy. If "feeling" refers to conscious awareness of emotions and emotions can be processed unconsciously, then emotions can come before feelings. Certainly the body, or a brainscan, can reveal emotions to an observer before the individual becomes aware of it consciously.

I'm not sure why people react so strongly to the idea that our motives and perceptions are processed unconsciously before becoming conscious...do we really think we can do all that calculating and sorting of biochemical information consciously? I'm guessing it's a fear of not being in control, but it's easy to see that we are in control of very little in this world...we control events to the extent that we can conform to the actions and beliefs that are rewarded by feedback from the environment. Our economic system also encourages us to adapt to external reward/punishment mechanisms rather than conforming to something "spiritual" or idealistic within ourselves. Perhaps the free will debate only cuts too close to those realities for comfort.

michael




Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:37 pm
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Post RE: emotions before feelings
Tarav,
I have to agree with you. This absolutely blew me away. It is one of the most unintuitive things I have ever read. However, there are a lot of things in science that are not intuitive, and if you are willing to believe the authors interpretation of the experiments (I have no reason to doubt him), the implications can be staggering, particularly in the mental health field.

the experiment about smiling had me thinking about people who walk around with a frown or smile all of the time. Are they more happy or sad as a result?




Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:44 am
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Post Re: RE: emotions before feelings
Gino,
Are you referring to the study about patients with damage to laughter triggering sights who can only give a fake smile?




Sat Feb 21, 2004 3:26 pm
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