Thursday, June 23, 2016

Emotions vs Feelings

Individuals sometime have a difficult time understanding the difference between emotions and feelings. I’ve tried to explain this by saying that emotions are physiological cellular signals that arise throughout the body and that are designed to get our attention and give us information; while feelings are the brain’s interpretation of the emotion’s significance. Dr. Antonio Damasio, is author of Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain, winner of the 2010 Honda Prize for most important international awards for scientific achievement, and a renowned neuroscientist who heads the USC Brain and Creativity Institute. He has explained the difference like this. An emotion consists of a very well-orchestrated set of alterations in the body that has the general purpose of making life more survivable by taking care of a danger or an opportunity or something in between. It’s something that is set in one’s genome and it’s going to be similar across even other species. You may smile and a dog may wag its tail, but in essence, there is a set program in the brain and body that is similar across individuals in the species. More tomorrow.

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