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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/12/20 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    The passage you quoted sounds like he was describing a bottom up process, where stimuli are gradually processed by afferent neurons in the nerve signals are sent to your spinal cord, up the brainstem, then spread out to the cerebellum and the rest of your brain. This isn't controversial, and very easy to observe by any neuroscientist when they look at neurons directly. By the sound of it, what he terms emotion is bottom up. As I recall, Damasio makes a distinction between feelings and emotions. It doesn't say anything about top-down processes, which undoubtedly exist, where signals are sent the opposite direction, through efferent neurons at the very end. Any cognitive psychologist like Damasio believes in top-down processes. You would be right if he was claiming that all brain processing is bottom up. That would be the thinking of a radical behaviorist probably, who effectively thinks everything is the result of bottom-up processing.
  2. 1 point
    They would be misinterpreting him. Damasio means that emotions precede reason in terms of neural development, and psychological development beginning as an infant. This isn't an epistemological claim about how one ought to think, as if we must depend upon emotions as a means to knowledge before we begin reasoning. Although a system of reasoning requires a system of emotions in terms of how the brain functions, it doesn't follow that emotions are of primary importance (and Damasio doesn't say that emotions are primary). The link you gave shows this basically. I don't think he's making any deeper claim than "emotions should not be ignored!". As a psychologist I disagree with some of his theory on the level of details, but his general idea is good.
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