“CURT: WHERE DO EMOTIONS COME FROM?”
About half our nervous system is devoted to vision and the rest to everything else. Vision is faster, more precise, over longer distances than the other senses.
The neocortex is a vast parallel processing engine that disambiguates and organizes millions of nerve impulses (literally just pulses) into objects, spaces, and backgrounds – and most importantly, in relation to our body.
The Hippocampus integrates that information from the neocortex into a 3d world model (our sixth sense, where our body is in relation to our chest, calculating and coordinating eye head body and limb, direction, turning direction, speed, in relation to objects, spaces and backgrounds to produce an ‘episode‘ that serves as an index to relate to all other memories, and then produces a competitive prediction engine by auto-association with previous memories.
Thalamus and hypothalamus are both parts of the brain segment called the diencephalon. They sit on top of and in front of the brain stem. And the brain stem sits on top of the spinal cord, where, for all intents and purposes the brain is an evolutionary extension of the spinal cord, which is an evolution of the embryonic neural tube.
The Thalamus (the director) coordinates sensory and motor functions and regulates them by consciousness, sleep, and alertness, then the Hypothalamus works together with the pituitary gland to regulate the secretion of hormones to maintain homeostasis that regulates body state.
So these Predictions compete for attention in the Thalamus, based on predicted gains or losses, which then communicates to the hypothalamus and the combination results in alertness and preparation of body state for reacting to those predicted conditions – the experience of which we call ‘emotions’.
Both in-utero sex differences in hormones and the resulting organization of neurons cause Women to prioritize the prediction of personal reactions (empathy, emotions, in time, ‘feels’) with lower self-regulation and bias to desirability over evidentiary truth, and Men to prioritize the prediction of environmental changes (systematizing, outcomes, over time, ‘reals’) with higher self-regulation and biased to evidentiary truth. In other words, we evolved to protect women and children on one hand, and capture and hold territory and resources on the other.
So emotions are bodily reactions to experiences(now) to predictions (then) depending upon whatever it is has captured our attention. Everything feels like what it does for a reason. 😉
It’s really not that complicated. But before we had computers and neural networks it was hard for us to think about our brains with the operational examples available to us. Hence all the pseudoscience and nonsense in philosophy and psychology.
The Natural Law Institute