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Meaning of the newborn cry

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1 hour ago, New Buddha said:

If, as you climb the stairs, you begin to feel winded, this "feeling" is different than e-motions (changes in bodily states). 

This is an emotion precisely because it is an evaluation and an affect.

The way you use emotion there is a thought out explanation of the emotion, not an emotion. The anxiety is the emotion, the physiological response is also the emotion of anxiety.

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20 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

This is an emotion precisely because it is an evaluation and an affect.

The way you use emotion there is a thought out explanation of the emotion, not an emotion. The anxiety is the emotion, the physiological response is also the emotion of anxiety.

The differentiation between emotions and feelings is not mine.  Here is a much better explanation than I can do.

Feeling Our Emotions.

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Posted (edited)

On 7/2/2017 at 6:47 PM, Eiuol said:

When we talk about emotions as innate, the issue is similar. If emotions are evaluations, why would a blank mind have evaluations? You might say that emotions aren't evaluations, then. I'd respond that whatever these "non-evaluative emotive responses" are, they aren't what people mean when they say emotion. They mean feelings, being aware of the feelings, having some impression of an event. It doesn't need to be cognitive and perhaps not entirely volitional, but an evaluation is needed. Otherwise, we are talking about physiological reactions, like sweating or coughing.

On closer reading, tt's possible that we are using the words feelings and emotions oppositely.  I had thought that I was supporting your position.

In my example I said that the person was in a strange building.  By this, I meant to imply that he did not know that the stairs would be in his pathway.  The next time he enters the building, there might be a fleeting feeling associated with memory of the stairs prior to actually perceiving the stairs.  This might be enough to cause you to decide to take another route.

From the article I linked above:

MIND: According to your definition, all feelings have their origin in the physical. Is that really the case?

Damasio: Interestingly enough, not all feelings result from the body's reaction to external stimuli. Sometimes changes are purely simulated in the brain maps. For example, when we feel sympathy for a sick person, we re-create that person's pain to a certain degree internally.

 

Edited by New Buddha

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3 hours ago, New Buddha said:

A difference can be made between emotions and feelings.

I've heard one way of putting it, that emotions are the outwards expression, and the feelings are the internals (endorphins, adrenaline etc.)

What do you think of that? Is that along the lines of what you're saying?

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1 minute ago, Mindborg said:

I've heard one way of putting it, that emotions are the outwards expression, and the feelings are the internals (endorphins, adrenaline etc.)

What do you think of that? Is that along the lines of what you're saying?

To a large extent, I am not qualified to state much more than what I read.  I think that Damasio makes a good case (to the extent that I can understand it) and also Llinas (who I reference above).  I've read a great deal, and these two seem to make the most sense.

I've seen a movement over the years towards understanding that the purpose of what we call consciousness (and self-consciousness in humans) is about movement.  Between sensory neurons and motor neurons is the "mind".  We have brains to move about the environment, get from point A to point B, find food, water, shelter, etc.  Once we have secured our needs, we go to sleep for the night.  If you are lucky enough to live to 90, then you will have slept 30 years.  There is the autonomic nervous system which regulates digestion, ph levels, etc. but what we call the "mind" is about movement. Embodied Cognition follows this trend. And the abstract for Llinas' I of the Vortex sums it up well:

In I of the Vortex, Rodolfo Llinas, a founding father of modern brain science, presents an original view of the evolution and nature of mind. According to Llinas, the "mindness state" evolved to allow predictive interactions between mobile creatures and their environment. He illustrates the early evolution of mind through a primitive animal called the "sea squirt." The mobile larval form has a brainlike ganglion that receives sensory information about the surrounding environment. As an adult, the sea squirt attaches itself to a stationary object and then digests most of its own brain. This suggests that the nervous system evolved to allow active movement in animals. To move through the environment safely, a creature must anticipate the outcome of each movement on the basis of incoming sensory data. Thus the capacity to predict is most likely the ultimate brain function. One could even say that Self is the centralization of prediction.

At the heart of Llinas's theory is the concept of oscillation. Many neurons possess electrical activity, manifested as oscillating variations in the minute voltages across the cell membrane. On the crests of these oscillations occur larger electrical events that are the basis for neuron-to-neuron communication. Like cicadas chirping in unison, a group of neurons oscillating in phase can resonate with a distant group of neurons. This simultaneity of neuronal activity is the neurobiological root of cognition. Although the internal state that we call the mind is guided by the senses, it is also generated by the oscillations within the brain. Thus, in a certain sense, one could say that reality is not all "out there," but is a kind of virtual reality.

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2 hours ago, New Buddha said:

 

From the article I linked above:

MIND: According to your definition, all feelings have their origin in the physical. Is that really the case?

Damasio: Interestingly enough, not all feelings result from the body's reaction to external stimuli. Sometimes changes are purely simulated in the brain maps. For example, when we feel sympathy for a sick person, we re-create that person's pain to a certain degree internally.

 

Origin would be misleading. I'm saying that they necessarily co-occur, so that the physiological third person description is the same as the first person experience. They are the same thing, from a different angle of analysis. Consciousness can likewise be analyzed from both angles, yet we don't split it into two concepts. For the sake of clarity, the word emotion is best. To split "feeling" and "emotion" is a subtle mind-body dichotomy. I don't see why Damasio even needs to rework the word "feeling", because he seems to agree otherwise.

If you only mean the "distance" from stimuli, and I over-interpreted, proximal and distal makes a lot more sense. When people say feelings, no one I've seen used it differently than the word emotion.

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Posted (edited)

45 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

To split "feeling" and "emotion" is a subtle mind-body dichotomy. I don't see why Damasio even needs to rework the word "feeling", because he seems to agree other

The reason he splits them is "simulation."

If you start with the basic reflex arc, a sensory neuron in your hand touches a hot stove.  The signal is sent to the spinal cord - first to an interneuron -- then to a motor neuron where it automatically causes contraction.  The signal also travels from the interneuron to the higher cortical regions where the "emotion" is milliseconds later evaluated as a "feeling."  Ow! That hurt!

If a young child has never seen a bear, and has no concept/memory that bears are dangerous, then no emotional response will be triggered, i.e. no heart rate, adrenal or respiration increase.  Nor will there be a subsequent running away response (or any one of the four "F's" - Freeze, Fight, Flee, Fornicate) triggered by the emotion.

If as an adult, with a healthy respect for bears, you encounter one while jogging on a trail, the learned, stored emotional memory Fixed Action Pattern (FAP) of the fact that "Stumbling on bears in the woods is is not a good idea!" will be triggered.  This emotional response will then, in turn, trigger the release of a running-away FAP (or one of the four F's).

However, if much later you are telling the story to your friends over a beer, you will "simulate" the emotional response (increase heart rate, etc.) but not the motor response.  The re-lived memory of the event is a feeling only.

Emotions (not feeling) serve to trigger motor responses.  And it does not need to be anything as life threatening as encountering a bear.  Emotions accompany all motor events.

Edited by New Buddha

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Posted (edited)

To add to the above, I'm only presenting some ideas as I understand them.  Not only can I be wrong in misrepresenting them, but so too can the ideas themselves.

This is from Llinas' book, p. 214:

The following properties are common for muscle contraction and qualia:


1. They are both triggered by electrical activation of the cell.
2. In both, the cellular event of interest is separable from the electrical event that triggers it, and follows in time the electrical activation.
3. The “corporate event” of muscle contraction or qualia has summing properties relating to the numbers of elements activated and to the frequency of activation.


• In muscle the product of cellular activation, force, is the sum (linear) of the pull of each cell, onto a common tendon (a geometric property) at a given time.
• In qualia the product of cellular activation “sensation” is the sum (logarithmic) of each cell activation on to a common coherent event (a geometric property), at a given time.

The measure for all qualia can be given mathematically by the Weber-Fechner law (Cope 1976), governing the relationship between the intensity of sensory activation and perception:
s = kln A/Ao

Edited by New Buddha

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What the above means is that our SENSATIONS are our MUSCLES acting.

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On 6/30/2017 at 3:59 PM, gio said:

If there is no innate ideas, and if emotions derives from the ideas, why the newborn cry ?

I've taken a look at everyone else's replies but the answer seems rather simple: the domains of emotion and evaluation are not the sole cause of their correlated physiological responses, e.g., nocturnal erections, tearing from sulfur compounds (onions), circadian clocks, etc. For these examples there are no reasons to attribute lust, sadness, or boredom as cause.

With the utter normality in the animal kingdom of infant vocalizations being an invitation for caregiving I see no reason to chalk up to an emotional faculty what can be attributed to evolution.

DonAthos and StrictlyLogical like this

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12 hours ago, New Buddha said:

However, if much later you are telling the story to your friends over a beer, you will "simulate" the emotional response (increase heart rate, etc.) but not the motor response.  The re-lived memory of the event is a feeling only.

This sounds like a visualization or a recollection, where it's actually a thought. The word "feeling" is confusing here, also before you didn't use it clearly.

Emotions are feelings, feelings are emotions. Imagining memories is something else. I get what Damasio is doing, and I think it is incorrect to use his distinctions on philosophical grounds.

If we really focus on Gio's question, all we need to ask is if the infant is responding as a physiological response, or as an evaluation.

I would say though that it probably is an emotion, because it does indicate a desire or need for something. Same with any animal with infant vocalizations in species that raise their young.

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On 6/30/2017 at 10:59 PM, gio said:

If there is no innate ideas, and if emotions derives from the ideas, why the newborn cry ?

Same reason why other newborn animals cry, I assume: birth is an unpleasant process.

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Posted (edited)

On 01/07/2017 at 5:29 AM, gio said:

If there is no innate ideas, and if emotions derives from the ideas, why the newborn cry ?

Boom.

Because it's a drive, an inclination, an instinct. Man has a nature. Man has innate drives. Values are not chosen. ;)

Don't be afraid to throw out tabula rasa.

Edited by Nerian
epistemologue likes this

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