The Neuroscience of Emotions

Meng: Hello.
Uh, good afternoon, my friends. Uh, my name is Meng,
and I’m the owner of the Search Inside Yourself
Program in Google, or the S.I.Y. Program. S.I.Y. is Google’s home-grown
emotional intelligence– Uh, sorry–
home-grown, mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course, and we hope someday
to make this course accessible to the whole world. This lecture will become
part of the content for the S.I.Y. course
in the future. And, uh, I’m delighted today
to introduce my dear friend and S.I.Y. instructor
Philippe Goldin. Philippe heads the clinic–
Lemme get this– clinically applied affective
neuroscience group Uh, in the department
of psychology at Stanford University. He spent six years
in India and Nepal studying various languages. I don’t actually know
how many languages he speaks, but it’s, like, more than three. And, uh, he studied Buddhist
philosophy and debate at various monasteries. And then he returned to the US to complete a Ph.D.
in clinical psychology at Rutgers University. His research focuses on function
and neuroimaging investigations of cognitive,
affective mechanisms. Whew.
[laughter] The effect
of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavior therapy, and the effect of parent-child
mindfulness meditation training. And, oh, by the way,
he’s also a meditation teacher, in case you missed that. And in person
I find Philippe to be very smart, very capable,
and very compassionate. And I’m very happy
he’s my friend. He’s just amazing. And, uh, my friends,
please welcome Philippe Goldin. [applause] Philippe: Very nice. Okay. So, it’s an honor
to be here. and I know that
everyone is very busy, so I really appreciate
that you are here. Um…Let’s begin. So, yes, I’m going to speak about the neuroscience
of emotions. And, um, yes, I do come
from an academic background, and also a practice background. And just to be really clear,
the intention for today is to give you
a brief introduction to a little bit
about what we understand about the neuroscience and how
the brain works with respect to emotions, emotion regulation,
emotion intelligence. But it’ll be brief because
we only have a short time. And, uh, this obviously– We should start
with some history. So, Darwin, um,
speaking about emotions, made it very clear that animals
need emotions to survive. So do we. They need fear as a trigger
to escape predators, and aggression to defend
their territory, their young, and food. Emotions–
He believed that emotions are really maintained
from our animal past in the trajectory
of evolution of human animals. And that we really rely on different emotions
in different ways to make quick,
often complex, decisions. So why do we have emotions? Um, as you can see here,
just looking at this photograph, just notice where
your attention goes. Notice what you see. So, from multiple
decades of research on emotions, we know that
there are several functions. One way–emotions help
to direct our attention. It helps to enhance our memory
and how we actually encode and consolidate
different pieces of information. Especially for information
that’s personally salient. It also helps us
to organize our behavior and our orientation
towards other people. Um, specifically how we drive– It helps to drive
and direct social approach or even social avoidance. And, probably most importantly
for this group, and for the course– the Search Inside
Yourself course, is that different emotions and the way our learning
history with emotions really helps to develop
moral and ethical behavior. When emotions–and the brain
is functioning well, it can be an incredibly
adaptive system, meaning that emotions bring
richness to our experience, how we interact with people,
how we interact with ourselves. When emotions are dysregulated,
out of control, exaggerated, this can lead to things
like anxiety, depression, burn-out, even suicide. So this is really
a very important aspect of the human experience. There are different
classes of emotion. So, researchers have talked about six primary
or basic emotions. They are happiness–
as you can see– Happiness, surprise, fear,
sadness, disgust, and anger. And you can check
your own experience as we go through this talk
to see how this aligns with what you’ve
experienced in yourself. There’s also
kind of a background sense of emotion or mood– Moods are long-term, emotions are more punctate
or short, acute. So they talk often
about wellbeing versus malaise. A sense of calm
versus a sense of tension. Feelings of pain,
emotional and physical, in contrast to pleasure. And then, importantly,
especially for social animals like human beings, all of us,
there’s a whole other realm of social emotions that are
in contrast to the primary. And this really has to do
with interpersonal interaction, so emotions that arise
like embarrassment, jealousy, guilt, shame, sense of pride. So this is a rough sketch of
the different kinds of emotions. Now, emotions
are obviously expressed. One of the most powerful,
ubiquitous ways is through our
facial expressions. So these are
the six primary emotions and the facial expressions
of those emotions. As you can see. And apparently,
in the English language, there are over 600 words
to describe different emotions, and on your face
there are 42 different muscles that work together
to express, very subtly, different emotional expressions. And Paul Ekman
from U.C. San Francisco, emeritus professor, actually came up with
a facial action coding system to actually delineate
what muscle groups need to arise in order to make different
emotional expressions. So there’s a whole science
behind all of this. It’s not only an American
or a North American emotional expression thing. In fact, lots of research
by Paul Ekman and other people have shown
that the identification of different facial expressions
is cross-cultural, as you can see, and there’s
a very high rate of consensus across different cultures,
different backgrounds, about what constitutes
happiness, sadness, disgust, and so forth. Another very important purpose
for studying emotions is that emotions are truly,
if you think about it, and check your own experience– are an important source
of information and feedback that help to direct our behavior and also our
social interactions. So you can think, how often do we use
a gut feeling or a gut instinct or kind of an intuition
to make a quick decision? And, in fact, I would suggest that if you check
your experience, this is happening
many times per day. So emotions
are really contributing to cognitive processes. Thinking, reasoning,
decision making. Now, we know that here,
in the brain, when a person has a lesion,
right, the absence of a– be it a tumor
or some kind of disease, we know that
frontal lobe lesions often result in impaired
emotional awareness. Which goes along with
impairment in social reasoning or interpersonal problems, and also problems
making decisions. So we know that there’s
a direct connection between the functions
of brain systems and different aspects
of emotion and their sequelli. Emotions really exist
on a range. I’m stating the obvious. From a normal sense of emotions, and then the extreme
forms of those emotions. So I would posit that sadness, which is a very normal
human experience, in its extreme,
can lead to major depression. Can be a very important
component of major depression. Anger, which also is
a very normal human emotion, when it reaches an extreme
or an exaggerated form, can become
unprovoked aggression. An angry orientation in all
of our social interactions. Pleasure. Again, normal. In its extreme,
it can lead to addiction. Fear, which of course, is appropriate
in dangerous situations as a protective mechanism, in its exaggerated form,
can lead to anxiety, different kinds of phobias, even panic attacks
or panic disorder. And worry, in itself,
when it’s out of control, and when it’s extreme, can lead
to generalized anxiety disorder. So we can really appreciate
that the emotions shift and move along a continuum
from normal to extreme. The br–Emotion and the brain. Well, we know when people
have different emotions it manifests in, uh, the–
in brain circuitry. And specifically,
different functional areas. In this case, really the focus
over the past several decades has been on the emotion-related
brain circuitry in the limbic system, which is really
a distributed set of brain nodes or brain regions
that function together to have the experience
of emotions, and maybe even
to generate emotion experience. And to detect
what’s personally salient and emotionally
significant for us. So this is happening
in a distributed brain system. What you see here
in bright red is the amygdala, the left and right amygdala,
which is, as probably everyone here knows,
is a very important node within this limbic system
for emotions. Here, just to flesh
it out a little more, the limbic system really is
made up of multiple brain areas, including the amygdala,
hippocampus, hypothalamus, and other brain regions. And even other
paralimbic regions like the orbital frontal cortex. So we’re only beginning
to really understand how these different
brain circuitries contribute to different
kinds of emotion and the ability to work
with our emotions. So, having said that, how do we
actually measure emotion? Well, many, many different ways. One way, as you see here,
is actually taking first-person,
subjective emotion experience from moment to moment to moment. Here you can see
it’s actually oscillating from neutral to amused to sad, and this is being induced
by watching film clips. So this is subjective
emotion experience. First-person report. That’s one window into emotion. Another way is using peripheral
autonomic psychophysiology. Skin conductants,
facial muscle contractions, heart rate, breathing rate– These are all autonomic
psychophysiological measures that we can use. Another way is literally
looking at facial expressions. Of fear, for example. Another method is, uh–
which I will be talking about– is functional neuroimaging. Using, for example,
brain imaging techniques to look at an index
of neural activity. Here it’s shown
as bilateral amygdala. And then another method
that’s relatively– Well, no, actually it’s been
used for several decades– is literally putting
a grid of electrodes right on the cortex
to measure under the skull. And of course,
this is an invasive procedure, so it’s only done,
you know, during epilepsy. It’s not done
to study emotions by itself. Not to worry.
[chuckling] Brain imaging techniques
like fMRI, which I’ll talk about,
is wonderful because we can go
under the skull noninvasively. No harm. Uh, just to drive
home the point, when we talk
about different emotions, this is one study we did where we had neutral, sad,
and amusing film clips. Brain imaging, fMRI signal,
what’s called “BOLD,” the blood oxygen level
dependence signal. First-person emotion ratings
from moment to moment, heart rate,
and then breathing rate or breathing intensity. And this is just
to really make the point that this is a dynamic,
interactive system. And this is only four channels. There are many other channels
that we often look at– can look at as well. Um, a full explanation
of a phenomena would really go
from looking at the genes or genetic contribution,
to molecules, to neurons, neural circuitry, and then how
different cognitive processes– thinking, decision making,
emotion, behavior– are instantiated
in those neural circuitry. For today’s talk, I’m only gonna
be talking about the top two. But a full explanation
really is from genetics all the way up
to interpersonal interactions. And currently we have
the technology to look at all of that. Many different modalities
of functional brain imaging. There are many different tools. They all have
their pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses. What we’ll be
looking at is– in the black box is referring
to the orange circle– is fMRI, functional magnetic
resonance imaging. So that gives us a signal
on the order of seconds across the entire brain, um, and approximately we get
the unit that we can analyze. It’s approximately two-three
millimeters of voxels. So it has its pros and cons,
but it’s noninvasive, and that’s what we use. Now, if no one here is– If you’ve not been
in an MRI machine, essentially it’s a magnet. And it’s a beautiful,
elegant machine, but it’s a magnet. And you can see that people
are lying down on their back and we put them inside
the bore of the magnet. And I’m gonna give you
a one-slide primer on the dependent variable
in fMRI. So you’re lying in the scanner, you have this angry,
harsh, critical face, presented to you,
you’re perceiving it. This sets off firing in specific
populations of neurons that activate neural circuitry–
distributed neural circuits– that then are consuming
glucose and oxygen, send a signal downstream– “Hey, the neurons are firing,”
send more cerebral blood volume, more blood flow,
and specifically, more oxygenated hemoglobin
and, um, glucose. So that the neurons
can continue to fire and you can replenish
what’s been used. Then they do a lot of signal
processing and statistics to create brain maps, which you’ve seen
in magazines, I’m sure, to actually infer the underlying
neural activity that’s occurring in response to looking
at an angry face. And then we use functional– our knowledge
of functional neural anatomy to try to infer what these different
brain systems are doing in conjunction with specific
experimental design to tease out the function
of different brain activity. That’s a one-slide primer. So, there are many ways
to probe the brain. And specifically to look at the emotion-related brain
regions in the limbic system. One way would be
dynamic social feedback, so you can imagine a person
in a video clip looking at you, going, “People don’t
really like you.” That’s one method. Especially for people
who are socially sensitive. You could also use music. Studies have used both
positive and really sad music to induce very rapid shifts
in emotional state. And you can just
check your own experience listening to different songs– Bruce Springsteen songs
or whatever. Uh, another way
as we’ve already shown is facial expressions, because we are super sensitive
to the slightest shifts, whether we’re
aware of it or not, in peoples’ facial expressions. Electric shock. A very powerful–especially
the anticipation of the shock, even if you don’t
deliver a shock, sets up all kinds of anxiety
and fear and defensive responses that you can begin
to measure in the brain. Another method that’s closer
to what we do in psychotherapy or clinical practice is peoples’
own negative self-beliefs. So, for example,
“something is wrong with me.” Having that thought
spinning in the mind can actually induce activity
in the limbic system, and is really the basis of what
we begin to work with in, um– for people
with depression and anxiety. What are the core
negative beliefs? So these are–this is just
a sampling of different methods that can be used to probe the function
of the limbic system. But then there’s
a whole other part. This beautiful prefrontal cortex that is so fully developed
in the human animals, which allows us
to take perspective. To think, to analyze,
to use language. All in the service
of emotion regulation. In what ways can we actually
think in a certain way that helps to change the meaning of something that’s
going on right now in our life. Or even right this moment. To change its intensity,
to change its duration. To even shift our interpretation
of what that emotion is doing and why we’re having it. That’s this prefrontal cortical
area that allows us to make abstractions, think, take perspective,
apply different strategies. But this is not new. Almost two millennia ago,
Marcus Aurelius said, “If you are distressed
by anything external, “or even internal, “the pain is not
due to the thing itself, “but to your estimate of it, “and this you have the power
to revoke at any moment.” Profound, profound statement. Definition
of emotion regulation. So it’s not a new phenomena
in human animals, it’s been here
for thousands of years. But this is really
something specific about our prefrontal cortex
that allows us to work with these processes
to modify our experience from moment to moment. So, there are different stages
of emotion regulation. And just, as I’m saying this,
check your own experience. Pre-conscious. Are there proclivities
or even cognioprocesses that are happening in the brain
when a situation is occurring even before we are aware of it that’s influencing
how we interpret our emotions, how we interpret
our current situation? Then this leads to immediate
attentional shifts when it bursts
into conscious processing– Something scary is going on.
There’s threat. Do I shift my attention
to the source of threat? Social approach. Do I shift my attention away? Avoidance. Both of which are forms– can be forms of regulating
my attention, and which thereby
influences emotions. Another aspect
is emotion appraisal. How do I label that emotion? How do I interpret
what that emotion is? And then cognitive reappraisal. Using our thinking
and perspective-taking ability to change the meaning. “Oh, that’s not
a source of threat, “it’s only a stick or a rope,
it’s not a snake.” “Oh, that person was only–
was looking at somebody else,” “Not at me.” And then finally,
and more subtly, meta-cognitive. How I view
how I process thinking. How I view my ability
to create a space to understand how my mind works. So more meta-cognitive
processes, which can– All of these things that we’re
talking here can be trained. Through different practices. Little bit about
the neuroanatomy. Some wonderful work
by Mary Phillips, Helen Mayburg, Wayne Drevets, Kevin Ochsner,
on and on and on. Some fantastic neuroscientists
who really have, in the past 10-15 years,
begun to create models– brain anatomy
and functional anatomy models of emotion reactivity
and regulation. So in the context of a threat,
real or imagined, this can rapidly shift
our affective state. Fear, anxiety, arousal. And this is really embedded in the emotional reactivity
in the limbic system. Amygdala.
Anterior Cingulate. This sends a bottom-up signal to recruit help from
other parts of the brain. Other brain systems. When that’s working correctly,
then in blue, see here that there are
regulatory systems that then begin to process
what is that threat? What are some strategies?
How can I work with it? And when it’s working well,
it sends a top-down signal to modulate the intensity,
the duration, the interpretation of that ongoing
emotion experience. But I would also add
that especially in human beings, This is mediated
through our view of self, be it positive
or negative or otherwise, and our ability to use
language and thinking To modulate and understand
our experiences. So this is a beginning
of a complex system that people are
beginning to, um, examine using all kinds
of neuroscientific tools. Terms of emotional intelligence, which is a relatively
new concept, Um, Peter Salovey and John Mayer have defined it
in the following way… It is the ability to monitor one’s own and others’
feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s
thinking and actions in a way that is not harming,
and hopefully helping, others and self. So this is very fundamental
to human social interaction, human systems,
Google, the world. But this really relies
on previous work by Howard Gardner, who had
a very, very influential book where he talked
about multiple intelligences. So in cognitive psychology,
clinical psychology, we often talk about IQ. Intellectual
cognitive abilities. But of course, there are many
other kinds of intelligences which are as important,
and in some situations even more important, in the domains of interpersonal
skills and intelligence, and also intrapersonal skills. So the idea is that there are
multiple forms of intelligence, and that these are important to develop volitionally,
intentionally, and to find methods
to actually work on that, to be come a more full,
skillful, optimal human being. Um, some of the skills
and competencies that we’re thinking about, especially in
Search Inside Yourself… Emotional awareness. The inverse of that
is alexithymia. The inability to detect
and even describe one’s own emotional states,
let alone others’. Mindfulness. The ability to volitionally
place one’s attention in the moment on purpose
from moment to moment without negative critical
self-judgment. Self-awareness. Enriching and enhancing
our understanding of what actually–
“who actually am I?” “How do I function?” And the ability to regulate. When I am off-balance,
do I know how to regulate and bring myself
back into balance? Off-balance, back into balance. That’s a whole set of skills. Motivation. What’s the motivation
or intention for engaging in action? Behavior?
Interactions with other people? Empathy. As we’ll see in a moment,
the ability to actually tune in and feel the reverberation,
so to speak, of the emotional state
of another person. Dropping the self just enough
to attend to someone else in deeper and deeper ways. And then social skills. Both linguistic,
language, body language, um, even vocabulary. And also just being able
to evaluate and take feedback. So all of these
are in the service of enhancing psychological
flexibility and well-being. So, I did a lit search,
and there are not that many studies
on emotional intelligence and brain functioning. But one that caught my eye
is the following, which is done
by Killgore and colleagues. This–In this particular
study they worked with 16 healthy children
and adolescents, and they had to do processing
of fear facial expressions. Here’s one example. So, fear face expressions. Processing those. What they found is on one of many emotional
intelligence questionnaires, the more emotionally intelligent
via self-report questionnaire that these kids demonstrated– This was associated
with a reduction–blue– a reduction in brain activity in a distributed
set of brain systems that had to do with, um,
somatic or sensory experience, emotion reactivity, and even
kind of cognitive control. So reduction in the need
to try to control to viscerally feel,
and–in red– enhanced activity in some
of the visual processing areas as a function of reporting
greater emotional intelligence. So this is one study,
but it’s very promising to see even in a younger
sample of children that emotional intelligence
have correlates in the brain
that are interpretable and important in terms of
emotion and sensory experience. Empathy. So, I said that we’d talk
a little bit about empathy. So, currently, it’s a hot field. It’s a hot area
within neuroscience. A decade ago,
no one would’ve touched this. So this is really talking
about a paradigm shift among scientists who,
by definition, tend to be rather
conservative in what we study, but understanding
that we now have the tools to be able to begin
to dissect, deconstruct, manipulate levels of empathy. So here, we can under– How can we understand
the other person’s mind? You can say theory of mind
is one aspect of this. And what
is the neurocircuitry involved? So, empathy,
I would say, really relies on a bunch of earlier
developed skills, in fact, some that are innate. So, what I’m putting here is a picture that shows
that children, infants actually can imitate
imitation, facial expressions, and motor movements in adults. This is a very important clue. So now we’re
becoming detectives. The ability to perceive others
and to imitate their behaviors is a building block for empathy. In fact, some studies have shown
that there’s a frontal cortex to parietal network
that’s implicated in mirror neuron systems for the ability
to perceive others and to imitate their behaviors
and their actions. So when you see kids,
for example, sticking their tongues
at each other, there’s in fact
a brain network– the yellow part has to do
with visual information feeding the red–
the two red areas that have to do with generating
the motor pattern and then understanding
how my motor pattern matches what
another person is doing. Observation of an action
automatically triggers simulation of that action
in the brain. Even if it’s not expressed. Premotor cortical neurons fire
during goal-directed actions as well as during
observation of similar actions. So throughout the day,
as we observe others, parts of our brain are actually
setting up simulations that mirror other
peoples’ behaviors. And we’ll say that the neural
bases of imitation, as shown here,
is really a basis for empathy, which, in one way,
is an inner imitation of the emotional state
of another person. So we actually have
the neural bases that we can begin to probe and see how they
change with training. So empathy here can be
construed as identification with and understanding
of another’s situation, feelings, motives, intentions. The state of being in tune
with another person, particularly by feeling
what their situation is like from the inside. Not just intellectually. And empathy–
this is interesting– may or may not precede sympathy, which is a basis
for developing the ability to cognitively understand
that person’s mind, how they view things. So empathy would be
more an affective state. In fact, um, this is shown here. One study that had to do
with looking at empathy for another person’s pain. Physical pain, emotional pain, triggers in the perceiver,
shown here, brain regions associated
with emotion processing. Visceral experience. Bilateral insula,
a very important area that has to do
with the visceral experience when you see
someone else in pain. In this particular study,
people viewed short film clips of people who
either were neutral– not–affectively
are not in pain– versus people who are
in a very painful response. Imagined the feelings
of the other person or even oneself
having that pain. And here, what I just
wanna point out, is that, um,
they measured two things. Personal distress
and empathic concern. And what you’ll see
is the empathic concern was much greater when you saw
the other person in pain. Not oneself. The personal distress
was greater when you imagined yourself
in pain, not the other. So here, this is a double–
this is a double dissociation where we can actually
begin to delineate different aspects of empathy, and where they’re
playing out in the brain. And again, insula–
insular cortex, this visceral experience
of pain in others. So this starts
to get exciting, in fact. Another very important
review paper came out recently, by Chaim and Tanya Singer,
trying to delineate two different aspects. Cognitive perspective taking,
which is something that we probably
are all doing many times a day trying to understand
what other people are thinking. The ability to understand
intentions, desires, and beliefs of another person,
resulting from cognitively reasoning
about the other’s state. “How is this person
seeing the situation?” “How could they actually
do problem solving?” “How–What are the things
that they– “are important in their
process in decision making that lead to their behavior?” In contrast to that,
the empathy is really getting
into the affective state, which is caused
by the sharing of the emotions and the sensory experience
of another person. Dropping the self just enough
to begin to experience the emotions of another person
at least to some degree. On some level. And–oop. So these two different
perspectives on how to understand
another person. Green and orange
are actually mapped onto different parts
of the brain. And that the cognitive
has to do with more medial
prefrontal cortex, higher order abstract mental
representations of the other, as well as taking– Actually, areas that have
to do with social cognition, perspective taking,
how I represent other people in my mind. Versus the orange,
which has to do with the anterior cingulate
and, again, the insula, which has more to do with trying
to resolve conflict. Actually experience
the visceral state of another person’s emotion. So there’s kind of tuning in
on an emotional level. So the brain
is actually showing this even without people’s
first-person report. So this is a very
interesting way that the brain imaging is
leading to understanding about how people
are functioning that we may or may not be able
to verbally express or always reliably express
verbally, I should say. Um, compassion. So I would suggest–
and this can be open to debate and thinking. Empathy, the cognitive
perspective taking, are building blocks. Both are necessary
for developing compassion. Compassion being truly– Uh, well, I’ll let the
definition come up. The deep awareness of the
suffering of another person coupled with the wish,
the intention, the motivation to relieve that person
from their suffering. So it’s both
an emotional component and a cognitive component. A tender feeling. Sympathetic, sad concern
for someone in misfortune. Pity for others
with a desire to help. And I would
pause it here and bold that empathy and cognitive
perspective taking and behavioral action is really
the crux of compassion. And this can be trained. So it’s the emotion,
the cognition, and the action
to relieve others of suffering. Compassion doesn’t mean
we have to become angelic. Angels. And I put this up here because
that’s actually an obstacle
to even thinking about, “How can I become more
compassionate at work, at home,
in my relationships?” If a goal is too lofty,
I’ll stop from the beginning. This is not the case. The absence of compassion can
lead to incredible… painful… decisions to abuse other people. As we see in Abu Ghraib
in this picture. But also, in this same field
in the theater of war, there can be moments
of compassion where a person decides
to pause enough for a moment to connect with others. So this is really important. This is not just theoretical. This is actually playing
out from moment to moment either in very safe environments
like Google or Mountain View or in very dangerous
environments like East Palo Alto or Iraq
or Afghanistan and everywhere in between. So this is not theoretical. This is actually fundamental. In fact, one quote here. “I feel the capacity
to care is the thing which gives life
its deepest significance.” His Holiness
the Dalai Lama says, “Love and compassion
are necessities, not luxuries.” Why? Because, “Without them
humanity cannot survive.” And I think that one reason
that neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists,
psychologists, researchers,
even physicists at Stanford, neurosurgeons, and beyond
are actively putting their intellectual resources,
their money, and their time into studying this. Why? Because they realize that this is getting
pretty serious. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity for human
animals to continue to exist on this planet. So that’s
why the neuroscientists who wouldn’t have
touched this ten years ago, are actively studying this now
because now we need to do more
and we can do more. In fact, what do people
at Google say? The Googlers say,
“Don’t be evil.” How wonderful. At least do not harm others. And if you can, if possible,
bring some benefit to others. So I like your motto. EEG, another imaging tool. Different capacities. Can we look at people who worked
on training their minds? Well, the answer is yes. When people are doing
loving-kindness meditation, which is one kind of compassion
meditation practice, there are specific
parts of the brain from which we can begin
to measure rapid electrical
firing patterns that show when an adept,
a really well trained meditator in this case–
but it could be a chess player, it could be a mathematician,
could be an engineer, could be a therapist–
can invoke a state of mind that’s open to loving-kindness
towards all beings. And how does that manifest
in these electrical patterns in the brain? Well, in fact, we can begin
to delineate that. Can we train it? And that brings the last part
of this talk. The most inspiring part,
I hope. Neuroplasticity. So until recently we thought,
You can’t change the brain. You can’t change the anatomy. You can’t change the functioning
or the linking of circuitry. Well, in fact, we’re finding
more and more that you can. So until recently they thought,
“Okay, so maybe “when you’re infants,
the brain is plastic. But as you become adolescent
and adult, you cannot.” That also now has been debunked. And in fact,
training the brain– Training influences brain
structure and brain function. Here we go. This is a very, very simple
engineering diagram of the brain. Very simple. The brain is super–
What is it? Google actually refers
to ten to the hundredth, right? That’s what a google is.
I looked it up. I would posit that the brain
is that complex. We are only presenting
reduced reductionistic aspects of the brain. The brain is much more complex and beautiful
than we can imagine. But we know from
our own experience, and I hope this is true,
that in our own mental states can be like a fly stuck
on sundew leaves. Stuck, not able to fly. And at other times,
via our own experience, we can experience our own mind
as a fluid mountain stream. And I would posit
that it’s about our choice. We can train the mind
in either of these directions. We can also bring a sense
of acceptance to both of these mental states
in our self and others. So what’s the evidence
from neuroscience? Well, for people who have
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a study now ten years ago–
a decade ago– looked at
the orbital frontal cortex right up behind the eyes
and actually found that a part of the baseline
you could actually predict based on your metabolism
of glucose in that part
of the orbital frontal cortex. Predicted who would respond
to both medications and to behavioral therapy. This was a very important study. A groundbreaking study
that could show brain functioning can predict
who will benefit from at least two very different forms
of clinical treatment in people with
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Very exciting. Fast forward. Now three years ago,
Chris deCharms, formerly at Stanford,
did a fantastic study looking at–
showing people in the MRI scanner a little
igloo with a fire. The greater the fire,
the greater the neural activity in a specific
part of the brain. This part of the brain. And he had people
up and down regulate from moment to moment
their own brain activity. And it was represented by
the flame inside of an igloo for people with chronic
physical, emotional pain, and show them
that they could actually up and down regulate activity
in a specific part of the brain. That’s neuroplasticity
in a clinical intervention for people with chronic pain
using what’s called real-time fMRI. This is one
of my favorite studies. London cabbie drivers.
Cab drivers. Showing that the number of years
of experience driving in London, which apparently
is an incredibly complex grid, not like New York City,
that they actually had greater activity
in the hippocampus. On a struc–I’m sorry. Structural changes
in the structure of the hippocampus based
on the numbers of years of experience
driving a cab in London. Direct experience literally
changing the shape of the anatomy of the brain. Again, neuroplasticity. These are examples. Specific phobia showing that
cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is the gold standard
psychotherapy for most of the anx–actually,
all the anxiety disorders and this specific phobia
being one kind. Showing that from pre to post
cognitive-behavioral therapy, activity in the–whoops. Here shown
in the anterior cingulate and also in bilateral insula
was reduced following
cognitive-behavioral therapy. So people’s cognitive conflict,
cogni– And also their visceral
emotional reactivity reduced in the presence
of the phobic stimulus from pre to post
cognitive-behavioral therapy. Here’s just another study about
actually what we’re doing. This is preliminary evidence
showing that for people with social anxiety disorder,
when working with your own negative
self-beliefs, pre-post 16 sessions
of cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety. Red here means increased
activity in areas having to do
with self-regulation, access to linguistic processing, and then attention
and cognitive regulation. Increases in people
when they’re working with their own negative beliefs
pre to post cognitive therapy. This is a very interesting study
that was done cross-sectionally. Not pre-post, but looking at insight meditation
practitioners. That on an anatomical level,
these two areas, which normally decline
as you age– This is gray matter. Normally decline as you age,
which actually was preserved in those people who meditated. And in fact, the number
of years of meditation was shown to protect–
was a protective mechanism– against the normal decay or loss
or degeneration of gray matter. Cross-sectional study.
Not pre-post. So it’s a different
kind of design. But I’m sure that somebody
will be working on stronger
experimental designs soon. So again, more evidence
that how what we choose to do with our time influences
even across the aging process. And this is just
another study showing that with mindfulness meditation in people
with anxiety disorders– In these circles is a network
of brain regions in which attention regulation
is instantiated and that those regions
are increased– I.E., better ability to use the
brain to shift your attention pre-post mindfulness training. And even before,
I said about the self. We also have preliminary
evidence that’s now in at least two
different labs or three different
labs for people with anxiety disorders
or even depression, that the neural network that
supports cell-focused attention can actually be modulated
with attention training. Mindfulness
meditation training. So in summary–
Threat, real or imagined? Definitely we can see is that
you can modulate up or down– but hopefully down– the intensity
of emotional reactivity. And that you can use all
of these other brain systems. Cognitive regulation, thinking,
attention regulation. They’re eventually shifting our
awareness and our attention mediated through
self-view and language to lead
to greater well-being. I have done this work with many,
many other people. These people are in my group. And many others who aren’t
even in the picture here. And this is where
I am virtually. I’m actually right here. And thank you
for your attention. [applause] Ming: We have about
ten minutes for questions… and answers. Goldin: Maybe only
questions? Ming: Any questions? Goldin: Are any of you
pondering? It doesn’t even have
to be a question. A reflection. man: Sorry, just wondering will
these slides be posted? Will we have access to these? Goldin: The whole talk is going
to be uploaded to YouTube in its entirety. man: Okay, thank you. Goldin: So you can
ponder it even more. woman: Would you be able
to go back to the study
on the adolescents and– Goldin: Yes. woman: Just go–
I wasn’t sure. What?
[man speaking indistinctly] No, grown up. ‘Cause it seemed like you were
saying something that to me seemed contradictory
but maybe it was just– I was misunderstanding. Goldin: Okay, so here–
this is one study. One thing I wanna
make very clear is don’t trust one study. Trust the meta analyses
or trust a study that’s been replicated
at least once, preferably twice,
not in the same lab. That’s one thing that’s
a caveat in science. Don’t trust any one study. Here, this is one study with 16 children
and adolescents. So already that’s
kind of a wide range. But supposedly what
we’ve presented in the study is that the greater– by self-report
on a questionnaire– The greater
the emotional intelligence score reported by kids
and adolescents, the reduction–blue–
in these regions and other regions that have
to do with emotional reactivity, visceral response
to fear faces. woman: Specifically
to fear faces? Goldin: Yeah, this is
just one example. This is
to fear facial expressions. And people– The human brain
is super sensitive to facial expressions
of fear, anger, and have a reliable
neural response. woman: Okay, thanks. Goldin: But it is interesting. What exactly– So this is a very
kind of course. What aspect
of emotional intelligence relates to less emotional
reactivity to fear? That was not answered. woman: Right. Goldin: That’s why you need
further studies. Is that only in the adolescents
or is it in younger kids? Is it age dependant? In fact, another study
that I don’t think is published yet from our group,
James Gross’s lab at Stanford Psychophysiology
Laboratory, looking at the eight-year olds
up to 22-year olds– boys and girls,
every single age– the ability to use thinking,
re-interpretation strategies, i.e. cognitive regulation or
cognitive reappraisal– in clinical, we say
cognitive restructuring– to emotional probe,
to emotional reactivity, was actually predicted
by cognitive development. Which totally makes sense. So the older you are,
the more cognitively developed. The more cognitive development
you demonstrate on neuropsychological tests,
the more you’re able to use cognitive reappraisal
strategies to down regulate
emotional reactivity. So there is an age-dependent
thing from at least 8 to 22. But then it raises the question, “From 22 onwards–70, 80, 90– what are we doing?” Can we train?
Can we overcome anger? Can we overcome low self-esteem? Can we overcome insecurity? And how?
And what are the best methods? Yeah, so I think there’s
somebody behind you. man: S.I.Y. Goldin: S.I.Y.
Search Inside Yourself. One method to do that
or at least to begin to try to do that. man: I’m just wondering
if there’s any consensus among the critics or skepticism
around this work that might be– that we might be able
to address as well? Goldin: Um, does any– I mean,
I have my own skepticism. Are you– Is there something
in your mind that’s come up? man: No, no, no, I don’t. In fact, this is all very new
and very exciting. Goldin: Yeah, sure. I’m happy to– You know, one of the great
things about being in science is that we can be skeptical
professionally. So I have my skepticism
in the following way. I’ll try to just briefly– So for example,
in cognitive-behavorial therapy, which I’m trained in,
it’s change oriented. Identifying mistakes
in thinking. Thinking in ways that
are actually harmful, not beneficial, that lead
to feeling worse about myself or others. One method to work
with that is to identify those thoughts, modify them,
change them, deconstruct them, find
evidence that those thoughts are either not accurate or that
they’re not beneficial. So that’s really a heady,
logical, linguistic, language approach. Shift. I’m also trained in mindfulness
or in meditation. Different kinds
of meditation techniques. One of which is mindfulness
meditation. There, you go for change,
but it’s not language based, it’s not linguistic,
it’s not cognitively challenging my thoughts. It’s actually shifting how
I approach my own experience. Radically different from the
cognitive-behavioral approach. But probably leading
to the same kind of psychological flexibility. Currently people are– How do we know when someone
walks in the door or even a friend,
what methods work best for whom? We actually don’t know that. How do know that
a combined approach would work best
for Joe or for Sally? Currently, we actually
don’t know. And this is one
of the biggest problems. If I train you
in certain skills where I assume this
is gonna be helpful for you when they’re not,
we’ve just wasted energy, time, money, even actually
inducing more frustration. So for example, meditation
is not good for everybody. We know that as a fact. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
doesn’t treat everyone’s anxiety
or depression 100%. We know that as well. What’s in the 30%
that don’t get better? How can we figure out
who will get better? Yeah, yeah, okay. I mean, I have many more
questions and doubts but that’s at least
one of them I can share. Yeah. woman: You just listed off two
different types of treatment. Besides meditation, what are
some other tools that you use? I mean, like, can you kinda give
us, like, a case study or some examples? If I was to walk in your door,
what would we do? Goldin: Sure.
How about exercise? woman: No. Goldin: Exercise
is a powerful mood regulator. But one of the things
that happens there– ‘Cause we’re actually
doing a study right now. Brain imaging pre-post exercise for two and a half months
for people with anxiety. That may or may not
be just as effective as mindfulness meditation or even cognitive-behavioral
therapy. But it might be
very different mechanisms. So that’s something. A whole other thing
that we’re not studying that could be very powerful
to study since we are so embedded
in logos or language is communication skills. How we actually
process language. Even training ourselves
to use language and linguistic processing
in a way that’s less harmful to self and others. That would be
a whole other method that’s not about therapy. It’s not about meditation. Those are at least two examples
that come to mind. And even, like,
we talked about mindfulness. Here’s a whole other realm
with just compassion. So, for example,
here’s a thought. You take somebody who has an
eating disorder, be it bulimia or binging
or whatever or anorexia. Could you actually train the
person to view themselves via compassion meditation
on the self and others to actually move around
the distorted self-view that leads
to constriction of food or dissolving into food
or vomiting, et cetera? I’m not sure that’s been studied
but there are approaches. So, for example,
I think we have to think outside the box
right now. Google is a thinking company. And that’s exactly
what we need to do as well instead of just staying
with our normal, you know, psychotherapies,
our trainings. There may be other ways
to work with the mind that could be more powerful
that we just haven’t tried yet or thought about. Just to be clear,
mindfulness meditation is one type of meditation. There are many, many,
many kinds of meditation, for example. Many of which haven’t even
been translated or incorporated
into Western psychotherapy yet. Zen has in the dialectic
behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based
cognitive therapy, et cetera. But there are
many other techniques. Yeah. That are waiting
to be tried out. man: So it’s my experience
and I also read that basically if you take
any kind of action or just express the emotion
then it basically becomes less. Has there been any study
on that aspect or did you touch that? Goldin: Did you say just
expressing the emotion? man: Expressing or just any
other kind of action, body motion, rather than just
keeping it within? Basically, obviously,
it has an effect on you. Goldin: Yeah, in general.
Yes. Actually there’s a very elegant
study by David Creswell. He was at UCLA and now he’s
at Carnegie Mellon. Where he just had people doing
emotional labeling using language
in an MRI scanner and found that just the act
of applying a word, or a label, or a phrase
to describe the emotion that one is feeling
in the moment helps to reduce
Amagdyla reactivity. Helps to actually shift neural
activity in the brain. That’s emotion labeling. Motion expression,
catharsis, in many cases can be helpful. But we also know
that it has to be done in a very skillful manner. So, for example,
exposure therapy has to do with exposing
one’s self to what I fear and addressing it. So, for example,
exposure therapy for post-traumatic
stress disorder can either be very effective
if done well, repeatedly, in a very concrete fashion, but it can also
totally backfire. And you can see people actually
melting down emotionally when they’re trying to express
and relive an emotion. So it’s more situation and
context and person dependent. So no blanket thing
that catharsis or emotional expression
is always helpful. The other issue here is how is
it affecting the other people? Maybe it’s beneficial for me. But I also–
The people around me– If I’m doing it
with a professional versus a friend
or at work or whatever, I have to recognize that it may
have different repercussions depending on
which context I’m in. Yeah. man: Thank you.
This is wonderful to hear. You’ve mentioned
a lot of great things. I’m really curious about
the fact that neuroscience is very excited
about compassion recently. And it’s wonderful when we hear
that sciences are validating age-old wisdoms, so. The idea of slowing down,
being more mindful, being in the present,
good food, exercise, so. Goldin: Good friends. man: Good friends. Good relationships.
All of that good loving, yeah. I’m just curious
whether or not you have a certain perspective on how
that fits into our society, because those age-old wisdoms
are sound and true. But in a society where we’re
constantly fragmented, or even the idea of memory,
it’s being fragmented even by the fact that we’re
searching every day and we don’t bother
remembering things. Memory’s important
from an emotional context for understanding who we are. So, yes, we’re understanding it. Yes, we’re validating it. Do you have an opinion
on how we can integrate it into our lives
and complimenting, perhaps, our need to be fast-paced
and hungry and diverse? Goldin: That’s a great question. And, um… Introducing silence
and stillness. Appreciation
for silence and stillness. Going into stillness
in one’s self. In little kids.
In families. In fact, my favorite studies are
about training whole families to become quiet. To actually take stillness
as a family exercise. Can you imagine taking stillness
as a work exercise? So, for example,
our lab meetings. My little group,
we begin in silence. The Quakers do it. Introducing silence
both mentally and communally. As a practice,
that’s not bizarre or weird. That actually reinforces how
people feel about each other. But the key thing you’re saying
is right. How do we integrate this both
intrapersonally– Like, in me? And that’s something that
each person has to figure out. How do I find that still,
quiet place inside? Nourish it.
Enjoy it. Actually, like, enjoy it. How do I experience that
with other people? So in psychotherapy,
this sensibility has kinda been infused lately. Mindfulness, acceptance,
et cetera. And people are experimenting
both in individual, couples, group therapy. In workplaces,
people are recognizing that well-being
is as monetarily valuable to creativity,
to lack of illness, to a communal sense, and even, for example,
creativity. So if the mind– If you’re a company
that really requires thinking outside the box, and you know there’s different
forms of stress that make me box-like– Wow, gosh,
I have to address that. And actively creating community,
be it on a family level, be it amongst people here,
be it even, like, a little work team. I don’t know
what vocabulary you use. But introducing that sensibility
either just as a tool for people to become
more still, creative, aware. Even pausing for a moment
before responding. And then again,
it’s all of this– You know, there’s the muscle
of attention and anyone can develop that. And then there’s becoming– Search inside yourself
to become more and more aware. How does my mind work? How does my mind work?
Being curious. How do I impact others? How do I understand
when I feel off or emotionally off-balance? How can I bring myself back? How can I become more skillful
with myself? You know, other people
take care of themselves. But just myself. So I think it starts
from an individual practice and then it will automatically
touch other people. So just a simple example,
you know? Paul Ekman,
who spoke yesterday on NPR and who’s, uh– He was a pretty intense– intense, difficult,
researcher guy. He went to India
specifically ’cause his daughter wanted
to meet the Dalai Lama. I don’t think Paul Ekman
was interested. He went there
and he was smitten. That’s the right word. Touched, smitten… by something inexplicable and so
much so that he said yesterday on the radio
that when he saw his wife, who did not attend this meeting, she said, “You’re not
the husband I knew for the past several decades.” He’d been touched by something
and he’s still trying to figure out what that is. So there’s also this sense
of contagion. So emotional contagion
can either drive us nuts, ’cause somebody else is,
you know, totally off-balance and is making me off-balance. That’s the negative side
of contagion. The other part
can be emotional contagion or compassionate contagion
where one person in the room is like, present. And other people are like,
“Ooh, I feel that.” That’s a positive side
of contagion. Being touched by,
influenced by another person’s inner development. So that’s possible. And we have evidence
that that’s possible. Yeah. Ming: Maybe one last question,
if any. woman: Um, maybe this
isn’t as related. But what’s your view
on psychoanalysis and how– Is that related at all or– I mean, ’cause you
were kind of– These are almost– Sometimes I wonder
if there are kind of bigger things
that would prevent mindfulness or cognitive based
therapies from actually taking as much effect. Goldin: So Mark Epstein,
New York City, psychoanalytically trained
psychotherapist, also Buddhist practitioner. He has several really good books addressing exactly
this question. Within psychotherapy approaches,
there’s a wide range of how people work. And also it’s
different skills for different kinds
of problems. You would treat elevator phobia
very different than relationship phobia,
for example. And also, you know,
you go back to Freud. He talked about hovering– Trying to get
the right vocabulary. I think he said
“hovering awareness”. This ability to just let
the attention just rest and hover and be aware. And that actually could be– That’s one aspect of– Resting in mindful awareness
with nothing to do, nowhere to go,
just observing, and enjoying that. So, in fact,
that could be something that arises
from psychoanalytic practice. So not just theory but practice. So, yeah, I mean,
we’re all humans. And we can give
different vocabulary but it’s the same suffering
with slightly different flavors. And it’s the same tools
to restore well-being, balanced,
psychological flexibility, not being stuck. And also believing that
I actually can do something. That’s one of the things that
arises in any form of therapy or training
or even friendship– True friendship is that,
“Oh, my gosh. I can expand.
I can be more than this.” That is the sense. Then you trust that
and you’re hopeful that something can happen. I’m actually doing a study
on hopefulness and hopelessness. And it really is– You can actually see
in the brain. You can differentiate
a hopeful state or a hopelessness. And even about
being able to develop. Some people don’t believe we can
train the brain. And that’s
kind of a hopeless state. So let’s actually
change that with evidence. Personal evidence. Ming: And with that,
thank you, Philippe. Goldin: Okay, thank you. [applause]

100 thoughts on “The Neuroscience of Emotions

  1. is it just me, or is it direct to all ages despite their previous studies in Neuroscience, because i watched half the thing and was extremely bored…no new info whatsoever….

  2. Investigating the brain & emotions is important but the body is equally if not more important. Memory and emotion are stored in the muscles. Body is the container and sustainer of our whole life system. Body has consciousness and emotions as well. When you are extra tired or hungry your emotions and voice changes. Body based emotions is a big deal. Also the unseen roll of denial " of emotions " needs much more light and investigation. Denial has a more powerful effect than known emotions.

  3. Imagination, memory and mythology have more of an influence on emotion than real world events. These are not real or true but effect us as if they were true. A dog rushes at you and you jump away. This is real. You have a heart attack on monday at 7:30am because you fear your boss with an ax. This is not real but extremely powerful. Death from imagination and mythology.

  4. Um why would six people dislike what lots of research has shown us to be our truth as a human being? How can you dislike what others have taken the time to discover and understand what doesn't come natural to our understanding of life? If anything everyone should be glad that there are others taking the time to understand and figure out what we don't take the time to… Those six people are either immature, unfortunate to click the wrong button OR religious.

  5. This is the most useless information I've heard in a while. This is barely science to say the least. Ok there are 6 basic Emotions, so what? I don't react to people I have nothing to do with even if I see them angry or sad or whatever… This does not acknowledge the moral sense at all. We do thing because it's right, not because we feel this or that. Meditation is the same as praying, only useful if one believes in it. I don't… educate yourself and you won't have to guess all this stuff,

  6. My emotions are telling me that I really can't be bothered to watch this video for over an hour… I do respect this video honestly, but right now I got other things to do… otherwise my Fiancee's emotions are going to be really dangerous

  7. excellent talk! would disagree with his definition of compassion though. his definition is more of a superficial kind of compassion aimed at relieving suffering. a deeper aspect of compassion is better defined as the deep desire to support another in staying with the truth of their experience. that kind of compassion CAN offer some relief to suffering because of the support. but that is not its ultimate aim.

  8. @zabelicious I agree with you that this information has very little useless but this is science. Science is anything that shows to be systematically arranged and laws of operations. So it is science. Do you watch TV or movies? Do you maybe feel emotions during watching a movie, why are you feeling those emotions? Those things didnt happen to you.
    difference between prayer and mediation (I dont do either.) Prayer is directly dependant on an external power (God) Meditation is internal (Yourself)

  9. I have a degree in biopsychology and I understand the neuroscience behind emotions. I know what parts of the brain get activated in a variety of situations but the truth is, each of us experience our environment according to different rules because of our past. We learn from past experience whether we are aware of it or not. God doesn't not exist so that is not even an issue here. Have you heard of a conscience? The frontal lobe is a more crucial component to pay attention to in my opinion.

  10. @zabelicious : Don't you have the feeling that assimilate instinct and intuition is an easy and reductive explanation ? …hard to think for me that my cognition process comes from my animal past :-).

  11. What you call cognition is just the human's way to adapt their understanding of what reality is, with language within a cultural, sociological or even religious context. Animals don't have feelings per se, they can have fear, hunger and sexual drives but it's all instinctual. Animals don't need God and don't meditate…Nature takes care of things.

  12. this is brilliant ! He is a very good and clear speaker ! I love the information, and it fits in with my own focusing and mindfulness practise.

  13. Not sure about his promotion of CBT, the results of which can vanish withing 6- 8 months latter. I dont think it is the 'gold standard'. But I do agree that mindfulness ( and focusing) can roduce higher emotional intellegance, and processing of emotional issues, also produces long term changes in the brain.

  14. @valeryschful Have you heard of the Evolution Theory? All cognitive processes have evolved from the way human have learned to communicate and use their cognitive skills (which can be traced to an enlargement of the brain per se also due to development of ever increasing neural connections and refinement of cognitive functions). However, this can all come to an end when there is severe trauma and impedement of so called normal developmental processes because too busy to survive and self-protect.

  15. @JustSomePerson888 Animals don't have the capacity to use the higher cognitive functions that human have developed (and actually differentiate us from them) and hence cannot experience their "emotions" in the same way. They have a simple parasympathetic response to threat and pleasure. Humans can transfer some of their positive energy, which they can pick up on but its nothing like the complexe way we process our emotions. Animals only respond to present events and don't worry about future.

  16. @JustSomePerson888 In the philosophy of consciousness, "sentience" can refer to the ability of any entity to have subjective perceptual experiences. This is distinct from other aspects of the mind and consciousness, such as creativity, intelligence, sapience, self-awareness, and intentionality (the ability to have thoughts that mean something or are "about" something). Sentience is a minimalistic way of defining "consciousness. Do you eat plants or animal products I wonder?

  17. @JustSomePerson888 Thanks. It has been thought that emotions and thinking happen in the brain. But our nervous system is open. All information flows all over our body and brain. For health both spiritual and physical, I would say that self love and care are more important than surroundings. Anger and fear are concentrated forms of self love and need to be included.

  18. @JustSomePerson888 I checked your page. You are cool. Keep banging that drum. Morphic fields are real but slow.

  19. I wonder why there are 11 dislikes. I don't think there should be any at all. This is a very well done presentation.

  20. @Shockadinkiller727 I agree with you. They are doing phenomenal study and research that will help our world better for humanity.

  21. @JustSomePerson888 1) That doesn't make sense.
    As I already said, plenty of people don't know that. It was addressed to those who don't.
    2) I love raping nature.

  22. @NWOareScum You know what, I like trolls. I'm a troll.
    But when I decide to start something like this, it's clever and amusing. You haven't displayed any sort of intelligence here. You suck and I'm disappointed.

  23. A comprehensive snap shot of Neuroscience of Emotions with great Q&A.
    I like his Q&A scepticism and interest at the same time.

  24. fMRI is not completely non-invasive because it uses a contrast medium, albeit one with very few serious adverse events.

  25. Hey! Have you considered – Supreme Panic Magic (search on google)? Ive heard some amazing things about it and my BF eradicated the anxiety with it.

  26. If everyone who has already commented on this video had to take an IQ test before commenting, 90% of the comments would not be here. Based on their comments, it is clear to me, they should have been trolling in the children's interests section of this website.

  27. To those who found this void of any physical science or neuroscience, I would like to thank you for bringing to attention, the once again, meditation garbage, etc, which is not science but a false belief system.I have my own thesis that have, even after 20 years of waiting have proved to be more informative than this junk they call "neuroscience emotions".

  28. And from a personal standpoint, after wasting years on things like cognitive therapy, have only had results after using true neuroscience techniques. If you think you are going to "think" your way in or out of any situation, you are basically joking. Read the book: Brain Lock by Brian Swartz of the UCLA neurological center.

  29. You do NOT learn empathy nor self esteem. Self esteem for instance is a collection of how you behave inside or your choices you make which either harm or help others. I never worked on "self-esteem"-but I like who I am based on deeds based on who I am on the inside and not outside. Therefore one can have a high self esteem and still want to look like Angelina Jolie as the two are entirely different.Waste of my time on a self proclaimed guru-I'd check our Depak Chopra for a kick!

  30. If anyone is aware of any real brain science work, especially regarding the Reptilian Brain vs critical thinking, or how one can slightly deviate by a small percentage based on a +/-20 set point, and or any non differentiated stem cell research, please post on my You Tube channel. Thank You, Gigi Jacobs

  31. @auacrgz
    My ex practically begged me to get back together. You just need the right technique. Watch this video and learn >>>

  32. So, Google says – "dont be evil" … Yet they're in cahoots with big brother, nsa, fbi, and others. They were against pippa when it came out , but seemed fine with cispa once they were off the hook. Yea, thanks for thinking of 'us' . They also allow youtube to delete videos, and not for copyright issues. They allow you no privacy and let info get passed on …. "dont be evil" ~ HA!! Funny! I say. … That said, good info here- thanks 😉

  33. It seems that a more Physiological presentation can be present for me to understand .I like the little Metabolism Glucose section in the Orbital Frontal Cortex and the Igloo Fire story .#Remote sensing .Septo-Plasty USA> Veteran

  34. A great condensed primer into the neuroscience of emotion, especially the first 30 mins. As to the last part, the gene apparently isn't as selfish as Sir Dawkins told us. 😉

  35. Can consider the Still, Soft Voice a new development of inner awareness ~ finding, being in touch and coming from our Inner Core–the still, soft inner place and voice. … Utilizing a psychoanalytic approach (vs. theory) was mentioned, a "floating awareness" on the part of the pt & therapist. My work with the inner core involves an underlying analysis & an aim towards psycho integration. Intention is critical. Would love to check these all out in terms of the neurological. -Dr.Cliff Brickman

  36. One thing that was not mentioned was that our emotional states directly impact which circuits are activated from modulatory resources that originate from the brain stem. For example, Acetylcholine is produced primarily in the hypothalamus.

  37. what follows is a very intuitive reaction. As the man with long hair pointed to, while asking his question at 55:46 : " what about memories ?"
    It is a secular idea, that remembering the past can help us to avoid making mistakes.
    This is a basic routine used by life to evolve. An other basic componant necessary to any organism and even for an artificial neural network, is FEEDBACK.

  38. And all this new ideology embeded in all sorts of psychology schools
    teaching: meditate, exercise, be in the present, breaf, eat well, be kind, peacefull, etc…
    but means also : forget the past, accept people and situations, don't argue, don't revolt, don't think, don't remember, etc…
    sound like a new christian religion with scientifics replacing Jesus…

  39. (4) All that follows a generalised lack of courage to face contradiction, and argue in a rational manner. If each time you face opposition, you desappear and go meditate… the all system is going to evolve much much much slower…

    It sounds too easy, to act this way, when you experience real injustice, and that the reaction of a courageous one, would be to say what you think to the person who deserve a lesson ( for exemple).

  40. (3) And i am quit shure that the emerging conscious of humanity, would not be abble
    to evolve, if basic fonctions like feedbacks, and memories, are not implemented…
    And i am quit shure that the emerging conscious of humanity, would not be abble
    to evolve, if basic fonctions like feedbacks, and memories, are not implemented…

  41. (2) And all this new ideology embeded in all sorts of psychology schools
    teaching: meditate, exercise, be in the present, breaf, eat well, be kind, peacefull, etc…
    but means also : forget the past, accept people and situations, don't argue, don't revolt, don't think, don't remember, etc…
    sound like a new christian religion with scientifics replacing Jesus…

  42. (1) what follows is a very intuitive reaction. As the man with long hair pointed to, while asking his question at 55:46 : " what about memories ?"
    It is a secular idea, that remembering the past can help us to avoid making mistakes.
    This is a basic routine used by life to evolve. An other basic componant necessary to any organism and even for an artificial neural network, is FEEDBACK.

  43. Emotions are reactions that are breed evolutionary. They weave an important aspect of our being and conscience. Our sense of meaning and purpose

  44. This is not being rude but it's really not as simple as that, or in fact like that.

    Functional psychopaths ( i.e. those who do not have mental illnesses), whom you come across most days I'm sure, you'll like a lot; why?

    Because they emote perfectly with you, because their emotions are actually your emotions merely reflected. As they have no emotional needs they can be you, they mirror you and can then manipulate you.

    To a psychopath an average persons emotions are read as easily as a road map

  45. How do i increase or change my intrapersonal intelligence. Why am i always depressed, why don't i have motivation. I can be content, feel love, and one hour later be the opposite. I am so in love with a woman and cannot seem to be stable in..expressing myself or caring for myself. or her. i cant really even explain this now…but i love her, how can i change?!

  46. Please type "True Theory of Everything Quadrant Model of Reality 1" for the theory of everything. Thank you.

  47. Thank you wonderful presentation, I am trying to find help for HAAND due to HAART from living with HIV for more than 20 years. I have been in many of the clinical studies of HIV medications in Dallas.

  48. Darwin's emotional theory is both true and false. Emotions are triggers and modulators of complex behaviors, it is true. But that they are "needed" in order to conduct complex and desirable behaviors is NOT true. The cause of emotions in the contexts in which they are "adaptive" is not addressed as with all reductionist theories, and the qualia involved are completely deprived of any qualitative analysis. This is the major handicap of modern "science", its epic failure, and willful negligence.

  49. You change by putting in immense effort! There are so many reasons why someone might be depressed. There is depression based on genetics and other depression caused by events, or sometimes a mix.

    Most people are bad at setting boundaries (i.e. they let people walk on them. Saying yes too often can be an issue). Also look up 'cognitive distortions'. Learn to connect with your emotions. Check out a mindfulness course (Jon Kabat-Zinn). Keep improving every day. It gets better.

  50. For more information on the Biological basis:

    Goldin, P., Ramel, W., & Gross, J. J. (2009). Mindfulness meditation
    training and self-referential processing in social anxiety disorder: Behavioral
    and neural effects. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23,

    Jafar Bakhshaie

  51. Awesome Video!

    People always used to say I am a emotional fool and I really wanted to know my erratic emotions, so i used an iPhone app called "emotional" by hanumappa which showed me all my dominant emotions and in percentage wise! and It also helped me to know more about these emotions and helped me get out of it!

  52. This would go right along with the Emotion Code and Body Code….Healing through unblocking the trapped Emotions in the body and different ways to find the trapped Emotion to Heal. After the Emotion is found by way of sway test or pendulum, it is then relieved from the body with a strong magnet, running it along the cranium meridian and down the spine to the tail bone. From the middle of the brows up and over the head to the middle of the base of the neck and down the spine. Excellent Modale

  53. Awesome Video!

    People always used to say I am an emotional fool and I really wanted to know my erratic emotions, so i used an iPhone app called "emotional" by hanumappa which showed me all my dominant emotions and in percentage wise! and It also helped me to know more about these emotions and helped me get out of it!

  54. That clown who introduces a lot of your speakers, sniveling and whimpering like he does, doesn't do you any honor, you do know that don't you? Or is everyone at Google to polite to point that fact out to him? Currying favor (as the English used to call it), or brown nosing (as you might say in America) is never a pleasant thing to watch. Emotional intelligence indeed

  55. Points to be raised?  Do they need to be raised?  Are they beneficial?  Or are they negative in content and in your case, insulting.  Why do you need to insult someone?  The whole point of EQ, Mindfulness, etc, is to be aware of context and rather than building negative walls to not build and accept the scenery.

  56. How ya doin! Have you considered – Supreme Panic Magic (Sure I saw it on Google)? Ive heard some amazing things about it and my auntie Got rid the anxiety problem with it. 

  57. I understood everything. Very well explained. And I have already done all of the things they talked about. These ideas are ingrained into many strategies we pick up over time. I feel bad for people who think they cannot change their brain. Mine has transformed. And it is still being trained. I hope more people learn to train their brain. There are equal strategies into what the point of all of this is. The point is overall becoming better. Other strategies limitless. There is a limitless amount of strategies to become better. And this information here makes it easier to imagine and grab those strategies.

  58. Interesting. with ADHD I seem to not be able to to take the time to understand others, but I attempt to estimate or guess their response and impulsively respond to it.

  59. When he says the pre-frontal cortex regulates, is he also referring to the medial pre-frontal cortex and the vetromedial pre-frontal cortex as well?

  60. Yes, everyone can change. It took a little time for me to get past the fear of not feeling something. But, Ive been reading and watching all of these wellness, but past life events and not completely going thru them correctly.

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