What happens in our brains to make us feel fear, love, hate, anger, joy? Do we control our emotions, or do they control us? Do animals have emotions? How can traumatic experiences in early childhood influence adult behavior, even though we have no conscious memory of them? In The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux investigates the origins of human emotions and explains that many exist as part of complex neural systems that evolved to enable us to survive. One of the principal researchers profiled in Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, LeDoux is a leading authority in the field of neural science. In this provocative book, he explores the brain mechanisms underlying our emotions -- mechanisms that are only now being revealed.
In 1996 Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories. Now, the world-renowned expert on the brain has produced with a groundbreaking work that tells a more profound story: how the little spaces between the neurons—the brain's synapses—are the channels through which we think, act, imagine, feel, and remember. Synapses encode the essence of personality, enabling each of us to function as a distinctive, integrated individual from moment to moment. Exploring the functioning of memory, the synaptic basis of mental illness and drug addiction, and the mechanism of self-awareness, Synaptic Self is a provocative and mind-expanding work that is destined to become a classic.
In recent years-especially the past decade, in sharp contrast to preceding decades-knowledge in the field of emotions has been steadily increasing. This knowledge comes from many different specialties: Emotion is a truly interdisciplinary subject. Workers in the fields of physiology, neurology, ethology, physiological psychology, personality and social psychology, clinical psychology and psychiatry, medicine, nursing, social work, and the clergy are all directly concerned with emotion. Professions such as law and architecture have an obvious concern with emotions as they affect human motives and needs. The various branches of art, especially the performing arts, certainly deal with the emotions, especially with the expression of emotions. Constantine Stanislavsky, the Russian theatrical genius, revolu tionized modem theater by developing a training method for actors and actresses that emphasized creating genuine emotion on the stage, the emotion appropriate to the character and the life situation being depicted. Indeed, one can hardly think of any human activity that is not related in some way to the field of emotion. Since the contributions to the subject of emotions come from so many different disciplines, it is difficult to find the important common themes that can yield an understanding of the field as a whole. This volume will attempt to make that task easier, but I recognize that no one can treat all of the diverse material expertly and in detail. My aim will be to represent all important types of contributions and perhaps point the way for further and more intensive study of special topics.
In his study of infants and children (including observations of his own baby's smiles and pouts), of the insane, of painting and sculpture, of cats and dogs and monkeys, and of the ways that people in different cultures express their feelings, Darwin's insights have not been surpassed by modern science. This definitive edition of Darwin's masterpiece contains a substantial new Introduction and Afterword by Paul Ekman. Ekman also provides commentaries that use the latest scientific knowledge to elaborate, support, and occasionally challenge Darwin's study. For this edition, Ekman has returned to Darwin's original notes in order to produce for the first time a corrected, authoritative text illustrated by drawings and photographs positioned exactly as its author intended. "This new edition of Darwin's extraordinary book is a major event in the human sciences."-Steven Pinker "This new comprehensive edition of Expression will introduce a new generation of readers to Darwin's masterpiece, undiminished and intensely relevant even 125 years after publication."-Oliver Sacks "Ekman's contribution to his edition of Darwin's 1872 monograph can count as a book in its own right."-Ian Hacking, Times Literary Supplement
Psychotherapy that regularly yields liberating, lasting change was, in the last century, a futuristic vision, but it has now become reality, thanks to a convergence of remarkable advances in clinical knowledge and brain science. In Unlocking the Emotional Brain, authors Ecker, Ticic and Hulley equip readers to carry out focused, empathic therapy using the process found by researchers to induce memory reconsolidation, the recently discovered and only known process for actually unlocking emotional memory at the synaptic level. Emotional memory's tenacity is the familiar bane of therapists, and researchers have long believed that emotional memory forms indelible learning. Reconsolidation has overturned these views. It allows new learning to erase, not just suppress, the deep, unconscious, intensely problematic emotional learnings that form during childhood or in later tribulations and generate most of the symptoms that bring people to therapy. Readers will learn methods that precisely eliminate unwanted, ingrained emotional responses—whether moods, behaviors or thought patterns—causing no loss of ordinary narrative memory, while restoring clients' well-being. Numerous case examples show the versatile use of this process in AEDP, Coherence Therapy, EFT, EMDR and IPNB.
Adrian Johnston and Catherine Malabou defy theoretical humanities' deeply-entrenched resistance to engagements with the life sciences. Rather than treat biology and its branches as hopelessly reductive and politically suspect, they view recent advances in neurobiology and its adjacent scientific fields as providing crucial catalysts to a radical rethinking of subjectivity. Merging three distinct disciplines—European philosophy from Descartes to the present, Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, and affective neuroscience—Johnston and Malabou triangulate the emotional life of affective subjects as conceptualized in philosophy and psychoanalysis with neuroscience. Their experiments yield different outcomes. Johnston finds psychoanalysis and neurobiology have the potential to enrich each other, though affective neuroscience demands a reconsideration of whether affects can be unconscious. Investigating this vexed issue has profound implications for theoretical and practical analysis, as well as philosophical understandings of the emotions. Malabou believes scientific explorations of the brain seriously problematize established notions of affective subjectivity in Continental philosophy and Freudian-Lacanian analysis. She confronts philosophy and psychoanalysis with something neither field has seriously considered: the concept of wonder and the cold, disturbing visage of those who have been affected by disease or injury, such that they are no longer affected emotionally. At stake in this exchange are some of philosophy's most important claims concerning the relationship between the subjective mind and the objective body, the structures and dynamics of the unconscious dimensions of mental life, the role emotion plays in making us human, and the functional differences between philosophy and science.
William Shakespeare famously wrote that "a face is like a book," and common wisdom has it that our faces reveal our deep-seated emotions. But what if the reverse were also true? What if our facial expressions set our moods instead of revealing them? What if there were actual science to support the exhortation, "smile, be happy?" Dermatologic surgeon Eric Finzi has been studying that question for nearly two decades, and in this ground breaking book he marshals evidence suggesting that our facial expressions are not secondary to, but rather a central driving force of, our emotions. Based on clinical experience and original research, Dr. Finzi shows how changing a person's face not only affects their relationships with others but also with themselves. In his studies using Botox, he has shown how inhibiting the frown of clinically depressed patients leads many to experience relief. This work is a dramatic departure from the neuroscience-based thinking on emotions that tends to view emotions solely as the result of neurotransmitters in the brain. Part absorbing medical narrative, part think piece on the nature of emotion, this is a bold call for us to rethink the causes of unhappiness.