SEVEN BASIC SYSTEMS OF EMOTION and Mark Solms

It’s not shocking to me that all mammals display the following basic instinctual emotions, we humans have simply taken it to another level. But then, I’ve been fascinated with evolution all my life, so have been learning about it all my life, while most other seem to have been totally ignoring it.

But understanding evolution is critical for getting a grasp of human basics, such as our own emotions. Because you’ll never understand them, without also appreciating their historic background and development, the foundation of thinking, as in a deep-time evolutionary appreciation.

 

WHAT IS A MIND?

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN - Dr. Mark Solms

 

WEEK 5: AGENCY
STEP 5.2: SEVEN BASIC SYSTEMS OF EMOTION

  1. The SEEKING System

 The system that generates an exploratory engagement with the environment through forward movement and characterized by a persistent inquisitiveness (e.g. to forage for food or seek shelter)
 Supports other emotion systems, with a role in both positive and negative emotions

 

  1. The RAGE System

 Compels the animal to thrust their body towards the offending target and to use their extremities to e.g. bite or scratch it
 A negative affect, however, when interacting with cognitive components (e.g. when victorious over an opponent) it can become positive

 

  1. The FEAR System

 Results in a negative affective state that people and animals want to escape from
 At lower arousal levels, it creates bodily tension and immobility which can then increase in intensity in order for the person or animal to get out of harm’s way

 

  1. The LUST System

 Display courting behaviour culminating in copulation
 When a mate is absent, the organism experiences a craving, the tension created by this can be experienced as positive or as a negative stressor

 

  1. The CARE System

 Nurturing, particularly one’s young, can be rewarding in the sense of being an affective state that is positive and relaxed
 Source of love

  1. The PANIC/GRIEF System

 Results in the experience of psychological pain internally in the absence of obvious physical pain
 Particularly in young mammals, the panic/grief system is exhibited in insistent crying and an urgency in reuniting with their caretakers
 Plays a role in the facilitation of social bonding
 Fluctuations in feelings associated with this system are a source of love

 

  1. The PLAY System

 Participants usually assume alternating dominant and submissive roles
 Enjoyable activity for participants, as long as the one that will end up the ‘loser’ still has a chance to win
 Source of friendship

 

A summary of the seven basic systems of emotion based on:

Panksepp, J. & Biven, L. (2012). The archaeology of mind: Neuroevolutionary origins of human emotions. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Mark Solms 2015

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Let the discussion begin. ?

Don’t have anything to add just now, simply doing some rearranging of the list. :wink:

I’ve had to put all this aside for a little while for something more sanity supporting. My second listen through Nick Lane’s “OXYGEN” - man now there’s a ton of relevant information regarding life and living on Earth and all that wonderful icky messy Evolution and biology stuff. If you think oxygen is wonderful already, you gotta read this book, bet it goes beyond anything you’ve imagined. Seriously. Talk about mind blowing.

Ever wonder about why we have two different sexes? Look no further than life protecting itself from Oxygen. Yeah, chew on that one a little. Some day to appear under its own title. Because there’s even more mind blowing stuff in that book that I’m sure to want to share in an organized fashion, someday (good providence willing). I put in my interlibrary loan request yesterday.

Nick Lane - I swear one Professor Lane is worth six Sam Harris’s and all the Donald Hoffman’s you care to toss in.

To me it seems emotions are simple behaviour controls enhancing the survival and reproduction fitness of the appropriate organism. - little more suffisticated but basically like the programming of a robotic vacuum cleaner.

With the introduction of actual - awareness, self awareness and self aware awareness, i think emotions are outdated and obsolete because one can active choose to do a above mentioned task or not. - will

 

I have to say it’s quite a good and useful summary of emotional functions. - #343304 – And i’m really glad that sensory responses like pain, hunger and thirst aren’t includet.

Although i would interpret “7) The PLAY System” mainly with a basic learning/training function.

 

Let me bring in a question, are emotions popular/liked among humans?

Are emotions popular/liked among humans?
Don't understand the question. Emotions are a component of being a human. Not sure what liking them or not liking them has to do with having them.

Yes, it doesn’t change having them at all. I ment it more like how do humans think about their emotions. Are they appreciated or not. - Like a Cecum which could be quite disliked if inflamed. - Unless humans don’t think about them that much and just live with it. - What, i now guess, is the case.

Excuse for any inconvenience, I myself are somewhat separated from emotions and quite fond of it.

@didirius. I myself am somewhat separated from emotions and quite fond of it.
I don't know if you mean you are fond of emotions, or fond of not having emotions?

About that not having emotion, is that something like the Star Trek’s character Spock?

 

I myself am a passionate kinda guy. Gotta work to keep them emotions in check. Since so many people are so very insecure, they misunderstand and are so easily scared, then turn into blithering defensive/hostile lost souls - and I’m not out to hurt others, so try to keep a finger on my pulse. Still, I think I’d feel dead without my emotions and I certainly know I wouldn’t want to find out. My emotional attitude has brought more good than bad. But then I don’t get lost in them either, I’m into the go with the flow, like a kayaker negotiating those rapids, seeking dynamic balance as I move forward. Not letting the manic highs carry me away, nor allowing the depressing lows to bury me, since I know that pendulum keeps on swinging.

@citizenschallengev3

I don’t know if you mean you are fond of emotions, or fond of not having emotions?
fond of the seperation - tendency to not having emotions

 

About that not having emotion, is that something like the Star Trek’s character Spock?
Hmm... surppressing emotions until they are seemingely dissapeared but having to keep up the surpression. No, it's more like emotions getting overwritten for so long as i'm awake, once i get really tired or i'm in REM-sleep (dreaming) some basic emotions can come up.
@didirius No, it’s more like emotions getting overwritten
What an interesting thought.

I’m trying to wrap my head around it, but I’m having trouble with what your emotions are “overwritten” with. Can you explain it any better? What is overwriting your emotions? Or am I looking at it backwards?

@citizenschallengev3 I’m trying to wrap my head around it, but I’m having trouble with what your emotions are “overwritten” with. Can you explain it any better?
In addition to owerwriting you could add displacing - to be more accurate.
What is overwriting your emotions?
Awareness would be my best straight guess.

Let’s describe it this way, for example: In childhood there is fear of/in darkness, during growing up this fear vanishes. So there is no fear of/in darkness in adulthood. - My emotions did just disappear over time until there is nothing concrete left to affect me (except exceptions from earlier). Granted, some low level of fear/concern kicks sometimes in, like a passive threat detection. - And that’s the last bit of it.

I should add, I never have done any kind of examination regarding that matter, i’m just describing what i notice on my own.

IMO, the most useful emotion is “Empathy”, the ability to place yourself in someone else’s reality. It requires imagination and imagination leads to understanding.

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position.[1] Definitions of empathy encompass a broad range of emotional states. Types of empathy include cognitive empathy, emotional (or affective) empathy, somatic, and spiritual empathy.[2][3][4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy

This ability allows the observer to experience the same emotions as the observed and leads to greater understanding of the observed reality.

Understanding is the absolute most useful experience that leads to “knowledge”, “adaption”, and practical “utility”.

Roger Antonsen gave a simple but very effective lecture that allowed the listeners to share his reality and understand exactly what he was trying to represent with several different examples.

So there is no fear of/in darkness in adulthood. -- Didi
You described the process of becoming aware of your emotions, understanding them, channeling them instead of letting them control you.
You described the process of becoming aware of your emotions, understanding them, channeling them instead of letting them control you. - lausten
Yes, and by doing that they don't have an influence on you anymore. What leads to the practically/technically disappearance of sad emotions until your awareness in that regard fades away. - I made a comlicated mess for a simple thing

Thanks for this information.