Discover the basis of the complex world of the neuroscience of emotions

In this post you have the opportunity to begin to understand your own emotions: do you dare?

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The term “neuro” is a trend because everything that has to do with the complex network of neural connections that each person houses in their head, carries a degree of depth that transfers the barriers of rationality. Let’s talk about the neuroscience of emotions. It is important that we first know what emotions are, where they occur and what levels they present, since, although we all have emotions, few people dare to study them to manage them better.

Will you join us on this exciting journey into the world of neuroscience? Your foray into the world of emotions begins here!

Let’s understand what emotions are and where they arise

Emotions are like small engines that make us feel the stimuli of the world around us. They are complex and natural responses that emerge as reactions to different situations that trigger thoughts.

These intense and often ephemeral feelings are the result of the interaction of our brain and body with the environment and are generated in different areas of the brain, especially in regions such as the amygdala, hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex, which work together to process information and generate an emotional response.

For example, when something brings us joy, the amygdala and other areas of the brain release neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, making us feel happy and satisfied. Similarly, if we experience fear, the amygdala can trigger an alert response, activating the “fight or flight” system.

Emotions are a vital part of our human experience, influencing 99% of the decisions we make, which is why it is so important that we know how to identify and manage them. Imagine how interesting it is to understand how these internal mechanisms that make us vibrate emotionally on a daily basis work!

Bases of the neuroscience of emotions: magic arises in the limbic system

The neuroscience of emotions focuses on studying and explaining how the brain processes, generates and regulates emotions, examining the brain areas, neuronal connections and chemical processes involved in emotional experiences. This science investigates the different regions of the brain that interact to originate emotional responses, as well as neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, and how they influence the formation and expression of emotions such as happiness, fear, sadness and sadness. empathy.

Thus, there are some bases from which neuroscience starts and on which it focuses its study:

Structure of the nervous system: includes the study of the anatomy and organization of the central and peripheral nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.

Neural Functioning: Explores how neurons communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals, as well as the role of neurotransmitters in transmitting information within the nervous system.

Brain plasticity: refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt throughout life by forming new synaptic connections, learning, and recovering after injury.

Neurobiology of emotions and cognition: examines how the brain processes sensory information, makes decisions, generates emotions and controls behaviour, involving areas such as the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hypothalamus.

Molecular and cellular neuroscience: focuses on the study of molecular and cellular processes within neurons, including gene expression, protein synthesis, and intracellular signalling mechanisms.

Technologies and study methods: They include techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and high-resolution microscopy, which allow brain activity and neuronal structures to be observed in great detail.

Mind-brain relationship: explores the connection between mental processes, cognition and brain activity, seeking to understand how subjective experiences relate to neural activity.

Clinical and Therapeutic Applications: Focuses on using neuroscientific knowledge to develop treatments for neurological, psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, as well as improving the quality of life of people with brain injuries.

Relationship of neuroscience with emotional intelligence

Now that we know roughly what emotional neuroscience consists of, we ask ourselves the following: if everything consists of physiological processes, is it possible to dominate our emotions so that they do not dominate us? The answer is yes, but for that, we must be emotionally intelligent and work on managing emotions consciously.

Emotional intelligence is closely linked to neuroscience because the former focuses on understanding and managing the responses that the latter gives us. If we do not know how emotions work biologically, it will be impossible to manage them from a psychological point of view and even carry out therapies.

What happens in the brain when we experience emotions?

When we experience emotions, different areas are activated in the brain that process information in a specific way, simultaneously triggering a series of physiological and mental responses that we describe below:

Emotional stimulation is received

When a situation awakens an emotion, such as fear, joy or sadness, the senses capture the information and send it to the brain for processing.

Stimuli are processed in the brain

Various brain regions come into action. The amygdala, for example, plays a key role in quickly assessing the situation and generating immediate emotional responses. The hypothalamus can trigger the release of hormones, such as adrenaline, that trigger the “fight or flight” response.

The stimulus reaches the prefrontal cortex

This brain region is involved in the regulation and analysis of emotions. It helps to interpret emotional information, control impulsive responses and make decisions based on the rational evaluation of the situation.

The limbic system generates the first emotions

This network of connections acts as an emotional processing centre, integrating emotional responses with memories and previous experiences to give context and meaning to the present emotion.

Neurotransmitter production

The emotional experience involves the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence the mood and the intensity of the emotion.

Physiological responses to emotions

Emotions also trigger changes in the body, such as increased heart rate, dilated pupils, changes in breathing, and the release of hormones related to stress or well-being, depending on the type of emotion experienced.

We hope that this post has helped you better understand how emotions work and how important their study is from a neurological point of view. And you? Would you like to know more about emotional intelligence? Discover more at Educa.Pro!

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