The purpose of a blog and the basic emotions paradigm

I started this blog for various reasons but the top one was

#1 to create a daily writing habit

So, in a sense I have to continue with the enterprise because if I don’t I will have, by default, lost my daily habit. Of course the longer term plan was to shift from blog writing to writing other things on a daily basis and although I have achieved partial success in this department it is not the 365 day a year that I was after by any means.

The problem at the moment is that I am deep into research on a writing project which means reading rather than writing. Sometimes I think, ah phooey, that’s just an excuse for not getting on with the main business at hand. However, if you are researching a big project and you draft too much whilst still researching you are likely to change your mind about what it is you want to write anyway. I say ‘you’ – I mean ‘I’ but it is a question in my head. How much research do you need for a non-fiction book. It’s been a year now. I am going to have to put a limit on it for my own sanity. I want to get the first draft done by the end of this year.

In the meantime, so as not to lose the habit, this is a holding post to my myself to think about and discuss further what is called the basic emotions paradigm. A lot of my work is currently rooted in this paradigm, but I consider there are some questions to be answered. What is currently puzzling me is the attribution, through brain scans, of the left and right amygdalae being involved in triggering different ‘basic emotions’. I don’t have a scientific background but it interests that me that we don’t ask the same questions of the left hand and or the right hand, or the left nostril and the right nostril. For example, we don’t say, it seems that the left nostril is much more involved in the olfactory experience of a sweet smell; we just accept that we are designed along symmetrical lines. Here’s the latest research and it’s all about the schnoz singular, not nostrils plural. And yet there are studies that examine any apparent differences in amygdalae function from left to right

It’s almost as if the initial activator of the amygdalae, which is too fast for our conscious mind, is then followed up by a further activator, or dampener, provided by the conscious mind. I suppose we do that with smell too, if we can’t place it. We smell something, but we then sniff again, actively trying to place it – say a perfume.

I also wonder if there is a sort of cascade of chemicals released which are initially triggered subconsciously but then further influenced by the conscious mind. For example, some of the chemicals thats release are triggered by fear also form a part of the cocktail of chemicals that are released when we are in love. In fact, if you think about the subjective experience of being ‘in love’ don’t you recognise some of the fear feelings too in tandem – say the knot in your stomach. In love and in fear at the same time at a neurological level.

There are no pictures for this post.

And if you want answers, this is the wrong blog for you today.

Move along please there’s nothing to see here.

Posted on January 28, 2013, in Science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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