Delving Deep into Human Emotion

As we move farther away from rational /emotional dualism–a tough habit to break–psychobiological research is increasingly focusing on the development and role of emotion in the brain.  

The first of three videos below features neuroscientist Antonio Damasio contending that even though we view emotion as a human trait, it is probably one of the earliest evolutionary advancements, significantly predating human evolution. He explains that emotions are “a way to live for as long as possible”, asking “if you were a gene, what would you do?”

In the  second video social psychologist Dacher Keltner discussess the evolution of emotion with a focus on Darwin’s principle of antithesis, which attempts to illuminate the role of body langauge in the matrix of human emotion.

Both of those videos are short (less than 10 minutes total), but the last one is a full-scale lecture from neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp, called: “Ancestral Memories: Brain Affective Systems, Ancient Emotional Vocalizations, and the Sources of Our Communicative Urges.” Panksepp’s book, Affective Neuroscience: The Foundation of Human and Animal Emotions, is the definitive textbook for the field of affective neuroscience. Settle in with a beer or two for this one.


Filed under About Neuroscience, Videos

16 responses to “Delving Deep into Human Emotion

  1. Heather Conroy

    Wow that’s a great collection! The second video is from the Bay Area Wonderfest and Paul Ekman speaks about Darwin, Emotion and Spirituality I found it here and it is over one hour of fascinating viewing (if you have a keen interest in emotion)
    Thanks for posting them!

  2. Rach

    I was amused that the second speaker equates weakness with modesty!

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