recentpopularlog in

pierredv : emotion   21

Learning the ‘Science of Feelings’: Religious Training in Eastern Christian Monasticism: Ethnos: Vol 77, No 2

In Eastern Christianity novitiate is a period of learning to experience the presence of God in one's life and the world. Novices follow the hesychast prayer, a mystical tradition that leads them to an experiential knowledge of God. In this paper, I argue that novitiate should be regarded as a complex learning process involving specific assemblages of contextual, cognitive, body-sensory and emotional aspects. By educating their attention and emotion novices learn to see beyond and within reality and thus discover the potentiality of people and things ‘in the likeness of God’. Religious transmission happens not only through embodied practice and the active acquisition of religious knowledge but, more importantly, through the work of the imagination. Novices' orientation towards the transcendent requires an expansion of the imaginative capacities beyond their ‘routine’ functioning. Imagination could be thus seen as a key cognitive capacity through which they learn to experience God.
religion  feelings  emotion  training 
july 2019 by pierredv
The nature of feelings: evolutionary and neurobiological origins | Nature Reviews Neuroscience
Antonio Damasio & Gil B. Carvalho
Nature Reviews Neuroscience volume 14, pages 143–152 (2013)


Feelings are mental experiences of body states. They signify physiological need (for example, hunger), tissue injury (for example, pain), optimal function (for example, well-being), threats to the organism (for example, fear or anger) or specific social interactions (for example, compassion, gratitude or love). Feelings constitute a crucial component of the mechanisms of life regulation, from simple to complex. Their neural substrates can be found at all levels of the nervous system, from individual neurons to subcortical nuclei and cortical regions.
feelings  neuroscience  emotion  Damasio 
may 2019 by pierredv
Open Hearts Build Lives: Positive Emotions, Induced Through Loving-Kindness Meditation, Build Consequential Personal Resources
B. L. Fredrickson’s (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions asserts that people’s daily experiences of positive emotions compound over time to build a variety of consequential personal resources. The authors tested this build hypothesis in a field experiment with working adults (n = 139), half of whom were randomly-assigned to begin a practice of loving-kindness meditation. Results showed that this meditation practice produced increases over time in daily experiences of positive emotions, which, in turn, produced increases in a wide range of personal resources (e.g., increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms). In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms. Discussion centers on how positive emotions are the mechanism of change for the type of mind-training practice studied here and how loving-kindness meditation is an intervention strategy that produces positive emotions in a way that outpaces the hedonic treadmill effect.
compassion  meditation  emotion  psychology 
january 2018 by pierredv
Different meditation types train distinct parts of your brain | New Scientist, Oct 2017
"Two new studies published in Science Advances suggest that certain kinds of meditation can change social and emotional circuitry... looked at the effects of three different meditation techniques on the brains and bodies of more than 300 volunteers over 9 months" - Tania Singer, ReSource Project at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig

"Mindfulness meditation increased thickness in the prefrontal cortex and parietal lobes, both linked to attention control, while compassion-based meditation showed increases in the limbic system, which processes emotions, and the anterior insula, which helps bring emotions into conscious awareness. Perspective-taking training boosted regions involved in theory of mind."

"Many studies have reported that meditation makes people feel calmer, but the effects on levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been mixed ... The researchers found that mindfulness meditation alone made the volunteers feel calmer when asked to give a presentation at short notice, but their cortisol levels were no different from those in controls. After engaging in face-to-face sessions with a partner in addition to compassion or perspective-based meditation, however, volunteers showed up to a 51 per cent drop in cortisol levels compared with controls."
meditation  NewScientist  Tania-Singer  psychology  neuroscience  emotion  feelings 
january 2018 by pierredv
Feeling lonely? You're not on your own | New Scientist issue 3134, 22 Jul 2017
"Anyone can feel lonely, even when surrounded by friends, and loneliness is on the up. How can we curb its devastating effect on people's mental and physical health?"

"Yet loneliness may have very little to do with being on our own, or having few friends, even if this is how it is often defined. “It’s not social isolation; it’s feeling socially isolated,” says Cacioppo ... Loneliness arises from a mismatch between expectations of our social interactions and the reality."

“Correcting for demographic factors, loneliness increases the odds of early mortality by 26 per cent,” says Cacioppo. “That’s about the same as living with chronic obesity.”

"If there’s one factor that stands out in alleviating loneliness, then it is the quality, rather than quantity of relationships. "

Robin Dunbar: “For you to live, survive, work and function well depends on you having a set of very intense close friendships, or family relationships. It turns out that this core group numbers about five close friends and family – and this is very consistent across primates, including humans.”
NewScientist  psychology  loneliness  feelings  emotion  disease  mortality 
december 2017 by pierredv
Awesome awe: The emotion that gives us superpowers | New Scientist issue 3136, 29 Jul 2017
Dacher Keltner and Jonathan Haidt "described awe as the feeling we get when confronted with something vast, that transcends our frame of reference and that we struggle to understand. It’s an emotion that combines amazement with an edge of fear. Wonder, by contrast, is more intellectual – a cognitive state in which you are trying to understand the mysterious."

"... van Elk presented functional MRI scans showing that awe quiets activity in the default mode network, which includes parts of the frontal lobes and cortex, and is thought to relate to the sense of self."

“Awe produces a vanishing self,” says Keltner. “The voice in your head, self-interest, self-consciousness, disappears. Here’s an emotion that knocks out a really important part of our identity.” As a result, he says, we feel more connected to bigger collectives and groups.

"Instead, Keltner believes that awe predates religion by millions of years. Evolution-related ideas are tough to back up, but he argues that responding to powerful forces in nature and in society through group bonding would have had survival value. ... It’s an instinct that has been co-opted for political ends throughout history, for example in grandiose structures from the pyramids of Egypt to St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, or even Trump Tower. "

"Awe also seems to help us break habitual patterns of thinking. The Arizona team discovered that after experiencing awe, people were better able to remember the details of a short story."

"Through brain scanning, he and others have found that psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD reduce activity in the default mode network – just as awe does. In addition, boundaries between normally segregated bits of the brain temporarily break down, boosting creativity."
NewScientist  psychology  religion  emotion  feeling  awe  meditation 
december 2017 by pierredv
Alexithymia - How Emotions Are Made, Lisa Feldman Barrett
"People who describe themselves as alexithymic report a lot of bodily (somatic) symptoms like stomach aches, have difficulty experiencing emotions, and have impoverished mental representations of emotions.[1][2][3] Alexithymia has been estimated to occur in about 10% of the population[4] and has been identified in both Western and Eastern cultures."
emotion  affect  psychology 
august 2017 by pierredv
Emotions are not universal – we build them for ourselves | New Scientist, Mar 2017
"The more emotion concepts you know – not just one anger but many angers, each one fitting a particular situation – then the better you will be at regulating your emotions. Concepts are tools for living."

"Research shows that teaching kids emotion words expands their vocabulary of concepts and improves academic performance. This may be in part because a larger vocabulary tunes emotions more finely to the situation – being “frustrated” or “irritated” instead of just “angry” – and that improves self-control."
NewScientist  emotion  vocabulary  language  education  self-control  interviews 
may 2017 by pierredv
The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease – Brain Pickings
"But no researcher has done more to illuminate the invisible threads that weave mind and body together than Dr. Esther Sternberg. Her groundbreaking work on the link between the central nervous system and the immune system, exploring how immune molecules made in the blood can trigger brain function that profoundly affects our emotions, has revolutionized our understanding of the integrated being we call a human self. In the immeasurably revelatory The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions (public library), Sternberg examines the interplay of our emotions and our physical health, mediated by that seemingly nebulous yet, it turns out, remarkably concrete experience called stress."

"Indeed, the relationship between memory, emotion, and stress is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Sternberg’s work. She considers how we deal with the constant swirl of inputs and outputs as we move through the world, barraged by a stream of stimuli and sensations"

Sternberg quote: "Every minute of the day and night we feel thousands of sensations that might trigger a positive emotion such as happiness, or a negative emotion such as sadness, or no emotion at all: a trace of perfume, a light touch, a fleeting shadow, a strain of music. And there are thousands of physiological responses, such as palpitations or sweating, that can equally accompany positive emotions such as love, or negative emotions such as fear, or can happen without any emotional tinge at all. What makes these sensory inputs and physiological outputs emotions is the charge that gets added to them somehow, somewhere in our brains. Emotions in their fullest sense comprise all of these components. Each can lead into the black box and produce an emotional experience, or something in the black box can lead out to an emotional response that seems to come from nowhere."

"Rather than asking if depressing thoughts can cause an illness of the body, we need to ask what the molecules and nerve pathways are that cause depressing thoughts. And then we need to ask whether these affect the cells and molecules that cause disease."

"Memory, it turns out, is one of the major factors mediating the dialogue between sensation and emotional experience. Our memories of past experience become encoded into triggers that act as switchers on the rail of psychoemotional response, directing the incoming train of present experience in the direction of one emotional destination or another."

"But stress isn’t a direct causal function of the circumstances we’re in — what either amplifies or ameliorates our experience of stress is, once again, memory. "
Brainpickings  books  stress  emotion  feelings  memory  depression 
october 2016 by pierredv
Why You Want Your Drone to Have Emotions - Mar 2016
"Why would anyone want a drone with the ability to express emotions? Emotional expression is, essentially, a way of communicating information. "
IEEE-Spectrum  drones  emotion 
march 2016 by pierredv
Buzz words: How language creates your emotions - New Scientist issue 3039, Sep 2015
Close link between emotional and linguistic brain region => value of sophisticated semantic systems to describe and thus process feeling/sensation, cf. Abhidhamma "Brain imaging studies, for example, show a strong link between language and emotions: when the parts of the brain linked to emotion are aroused, so are those parts associated with semantics and language." "Once we learn to link that word to a particular network of sensations, our brains find it easier to seek out experiences which are consistent with it and filter out those which aren’t."
NewScientist  language  emotion  Buddhism  meditation  sensation 
december 2015 by pierredv
Do get mad: The upside of anger - life - 14 February 2013 - New Scientist
Excerpts: ...nobody is arguing that anger can't be enormously destructive, nevertheless the idea that it is also sometimes beneficial is steadily gaining ground... Jennifer Lerner... gathered information on the emotions and attitudes of almost 1000 American adults and teenagers just nine days after the attacks, with follow-up studies in subsequent years... Lerner discovered that people made angry rather than fearful by a stressful situation have a lower biological response, in terms of blood pressure and levels of stress hormones ... when you're in a situation that is maddening, and your anger is justified, the emotion isn't necessarily bad for you. There is also evidence that political and business leaders who get angry rather than sad in response to a scandal are granted higher status ... - as long as they are male Ernest Harburg: "The idea of inhibiting your anger all the time, which is promoted by religions and pacifists, is simply not a healthy thought"
religion  anger  NewScientist  health  emotion  fear 
october 2013 by pierredv
Psychosomatic medicine: Think yourself well | The Economist
Reports a study published in Psychological Science, by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kok at UNC Chapel Hill "Healthy vagal function is reflected in a subtle increase in heart rate while breathing in and a subtle decrease while breathing out. The difference yields an index of vagal tone, and the value of this index is known to be connected with health." Recent work: "people with high tone are better than those with low at stopping bad feelings getting overblown. They also show more positive emotions in general." "vagal tone increased significantly in people who meditated, and hardly at all in those who did not. Among meditators, those who started the experiment with the highest vagal-tone scores reported the biggest increases in positive emotions" "these findings suggest high vagal tone makes it easier to generate positive emotions and that this, in turn, drives vagal tone still higher. That is both literally and metaphorically a positive feedback loop."
metta  meditation  TheEconomist  vagus-nerve  emotion 
december 2012 by pierredv
Interoception in emotional experience : Stefan Wiens 2005 = Current Opinion in Neurology
Purpose of review: Many theories of emotion have postulated a close relationship of the feedback of physiological changes and their perception with emotional experience. This paper reviews recent advances in theory and brain-imaging research on this topic of interoception and describes a hypothetical model of the potential mechanisms.
Summary: Consistent with recent theories of emotion, evidence from brain imaging supports the notion that centrally integrated feedback from the whole body plays a role in emotional experience. Because research on neural correlates of emotional experience is at an early stage, the hypothesized model of potential causal links between interoception and emotional experience might serve as a helpful guide to future research.
interoception  neuroscience  research  emotion  review-article 
november 2011 by pierredv
Ewwwwwwwww! - The Boston Globe
"... the argument that some behavioral scientists have begun to make: That a significant slice of morality can be explained by our innate feelings of disgust. A growing number of provocative and clever studies appear to show that disgust has the power to shape our moral
"morality is not, as the Buddha and St. Augustine said, a way to curb our animal desires: It’s simply an outgrowth of that same animal nature"
morality  psychology  experiment  emotion  **  quotations 
august 2010 by pierredv
Finding the self in self-transcendent emotions — PNAS
Jonathan Haidt and James P. Morris
Commentary on Immordino-Yang, McCall, Damasio & Damasio
PNAS  damasio  cognition  mind  emotion 
february 2010 by pierredv
Listening to Your Pulse : The Frontal Cortex
Importance of Damasio's "body loop". Players of the Iowa Gambling Test (IGT).
via Boston Globe: "People who were more accurate at counting their own heartbeats picked more cards from the decks with better returns. It seems that people who are in touch with feedback from their own body have an easier time learning from positive and negative experiences."
psychology  body  brain  emotion  sensation  damasio  decision-making  experiment 
february 2010 by pierredv
Thinking the Way Animals Do
article by Temple Grandin, Western Horseman, Nov. 1997, pp.140-145
psychology  emotion  cognition 
february 2007 by pierredv
We Feel Fine / mission
We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale - database of emotions culled from blogs
cool  emotion  visualization  web 
august 2006 by pierredv

Copy this bookmark:

to read