Emotions are cognitive states resulting from the gathering of information in the mind
New York, Feb 17:A study has found that emotions are not innately programmed in our brains, but, in fact, are cognitive states resulting from the gathering of information.
The research appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The team observed, “the brain mechanisms that give rise to conscious emotional feelings are not fundamentally different from those that give rise to perceptual conscious experiences.”
“We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain,” said Joseph LeDoux from New York University’s center for neural science.
“Specifically, the differences between emotional and non-emotional states are the kinds of inputs that are processed by a general cortical network of cognition, a network essential for conscious experiences,” LeDoux added.
The findings suggest that the existing work posits that emotions are innately programmed in the brain’s subcortical circuits.
As a result, emotions are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli.
In other words, emotions are not a response to what our brain takes in from our observations, but, rather, are intrinsic to our makeup.
However, after taking into account existing scholarship on both cognition and emotion, the researchers saw a quite different architecture for emotions – one more centered on process than on composition.
They concluded that emotions are “higher-order states” embedded in cortical circuits.
Therefore, unlike present theories, they see emotional states as similar to other states of consciousness.