From an evolutionary standpoint, why does pain exist? The first naive answer most people reach for is that pain exists to make us take action to prevent damage. If we touch a hot stove, pain makes us pull our hand back. But that's not right. When we touch a hot surface, nociceptors in our hand … Continue reading Pain is information, but what is information?
Stephen T. Asma and Rami Gabriel have an interesting article at Aeon on emotions. Their main thesis is that many emotions are biological, universal, and rooted in evolution. And that they arise through "the strata of consciousness": the physiological, the experential, and the conceptual. They start off casting aspersions on computationalism, evolutionary psychology, and artificial … Continue reading The reflex and the feeling
What are emotions? Where do they come from? Are they something innate or something we learn? The classic view is that they're precognitive impulses that happen to us. If so, this would imply that they have specific neural signatures. Early in her career, psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett attempted to isolate the neural basis of emotions … Continue reading The layers of emotion creation