Brain Waves through Time: 12 Principles for Understanding the Evolution of the Human Brain and Man's Behavior

By Robert T. DeMoss | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
THE RELIABLE BRAIN

Pretend that you are taking a walk through a forest, you come around a huge boulder, and there, not twenty feet in front of you, is a very large feline. If you are unarmed, and normal, the emotion engendered by such an encounter would be pretty predictable -- abject terror! Now, let me ask you, where in your body would you first experience that sensation? In your stomach? Your chest? Before your cerebral cortex can make full meaning of a new situation, much less decide what to do, strong feelings have been triggered, so what are these things called "feelings"? They are part of a larger phenomenon called "emotion."


THE FUNCTIONS OF EMOTIONS

Emotions and behavior share a unique and complicated relationship with each other. Emotions influence behavior. In turn, behavior influences emotion. It is sometimes impossible to make a distinction between an emotion and the ensuing behavior because both can occur simultaneously. To further complicate the picture, it is possible to experience an emotion, but behave in a manner that is unrelated to the emotion. We can be very upset about a job loss and behave as if nothing had happened.

Nico Frijda, a professor of psychology at the University of Amsterdam, is a renowned expert on emotion. He referred to emotional behaviors as "expressive" because they can appear solely for the purpose of expressing emotion. 1 Have you ever observed what happens when a person arrives two seconds too late at a bus stop? Wild gyrations, such as waving a clenched fist, or the prominent display of a particular digit, are not out of the question. These behaviors are so expressive because they serve no

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Brain Waves through Time: 12 Principles for Understanding the Evolution of the Human Brain and Man's Behavior
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Chapter 1 - The Paradox 1
  • Chapter 2 - Humans in Perspective 15
  • Chapter 3 - The First Network 31
  • Chapter 4 - The Hungry and Biased Brain 51
  • Chapter 5 - The Indelible Stamp of Development 75
  • Chapter 6 - Memories: Loyal and Misunderstood 99
  • Chapter 7 - The Well Conditioned Body 121
  • Chapter 8 - Seeing or Hearing is Doing 147
  • Chapter 9 - The Reliable Brain 169
  • Chapter 10 - Time Travel 199
  • Chapter 11 - The Human Mind, the Group Mind 227
  • Notes 251
  • Index 267
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