Re: [asa] Brains, cells & emotions

From: <>
Date: Mon May 14 2007 - 13:49:18 EDT

It sounds more like philosophy than science.

On Mon, 14 May 2007 11:27:26 -0700 (PDT)
  Christine Smith <> wrote:
> Can someone with more background in this area give me
> some perspective on the following, which is described
> on wikipedia (I know, not the best source of
> info--that's why I'm asking the forum about it!)
> Thanks,
> Christine Smith
> "For example, the human emotion of love is proposed to
> have evolved from paleocircuits of the mammalian brain
> (specifically, modules of the cingulated gyrus)
> designed for the care, feeding, and grooming of
> offspring. Paleocircuits are neural platforms for
> bodily expression configured millions of years before
> the advent of cortical circuits for speech. They
> consist of pre-configured pathways or networks of
> nerve cells in the forebrain, brain stem and spinal
> cord. They evolved prior to the earliest mammalian
> ancestors, as far back as the jawless fishes, to
> control motor function.
> Presumably, before the mammalian brain, life in the
> non-verbal world was automatic, preconscious, and
> predictable. The motor centers of reptiles react to
> sensory cues of vision, sound, touch, chemical,
> gravity, and motion with pre-set body movements and
> programmed postures. With the arrival of night-active
> mammals, circa 180 million years ago, smell replaced
> vision as the dominant sense, and a different way of
> responding arose from the olfactory sense, which is
> proposed to have developed into mammalian emotion and
> emotional memory. In the Jurassic Period, the
> mammalian brain invested heavily in olfaction to
> succeed at night as reptiles slept — one explanation
> for why olfactory lobes in mammalian brains are
> proportionally larger than in the reptiles. These odor
> pathways gradually formed the neural blueprint for
> what was later to become our limbic brain.
> .....
> There is a new theory concerning emotion and how it
> informs the contents of consciousness (how qualia and
> thought are composed). According to The Unified Theory
> of the Nervous System and Behavior it can be noted
> that every perception, sense and thought has an
> emotional component of good or bad, which is
> interpreted as a mix of pleasure and pain as expressed
> in proportions of the mix between these basic units in
> relationship to frequencies of cell firing. An ideal
> frequency of a cell becomes pleasure in a different
> scale of time, and, as the cells are seeking
> connections as a form of pattern-seeking, all
> cognition is a summation of pleasure-seeking with many
> different units of both pleasure and pain as well.
> Different experiences always have a pleasure/pain
> element in regards to converging frequencies which we
> experience at the scale of an entire organism as
> beauty or ugliness in the realm of vision, for
> instance. Therefore, as all cognition and function of
> the nervous system is a combination of different
> proportions of pleasure and pain - which act as the
> pixels to create the animated experience of
> consciousness much like the black dots on white paper
> become pictures in a newspaper photograph which has
> content as a black and white or mostly grey picture -
> then what we call emotion is the overall summation of
> many realms of pleasure/pain calculations in regards
> to the many complex subject matters dealt with in any
> instant in the brain that are beyond being articulated
> as any one topic (although we will have an emotional
> interpretation of every realm or subject or subset of
> thinking as well). This way of looking at emotion as
> mixtures of meaningless extremes of pleasure/pain
> oscillating back and forth in each cell offers answers
> to what are considered the "hard" problems of
> "For we walk by faith, not by sight" ~II Corinthians 5:7
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Received on Mon May 14 14:52:26 2007

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