Tag: Neuroscience (home)

I agree with those who define a human emotion as an interpretation of a change in bodily feeling. A change in brain state, without any interpretation, either because it was not detected or because it was ignored, should be given a different name. There is no agreement on what to call these unrecognized brain states. But we should distinguish between a man who detected a rise in heart rate and muscle tightness as he entered a room full of strangers and thought, "I am anxious," and a woman who failed to detect the same reactions, even though her behavior might have been affected by the altered bodily state.

permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 207
tags: Emotions, Neuroscience

A hand (representing brain) holding a string attached to a kite (the mind) provides an instructive metaphor for the relation of brain to mind. When the string is short, the kite's direction is under the control of the hand. But as the string becomes longer there comes a moment when, in a stiff breeze, the hand loses control and the kite determines how the hand moves.

permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 219
tags: Soul, Neuroscience

The hope of finding a place in the brain that is the essence of a thought or feeling is as futile as trying to discover the most essential basis for the taste of a piece of milk chocolate. Remove the milk, the sugar, or the chocolate, and the usual sensory experience vanishes. The mind likes the notion of essences, but like the tooth fairy, nature failed to provide examples of this pleasing idea.

permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 222
tags: Neuroscience