To what extent do biological and cognitive factors interact in emotion? (22)
Emotions are often categorized as a state of arousal characterized primarily by facial expressions, biological reactions, cognitive appraisals and mental states1. Our ability to feel is what makes us unique as human beings and therefore emotions are essential in human life. There are three main components of emotion: subjective experience, physiological changes involving the ANS (autonomic nervous system) and the endocrine system, and associated behavior such as smiling and crying. Ekman et al (1972) discovered the six fundamental emotions as fear, anger, surprise, sadness, happiness and disgust. Damasio et al (1994) claimed that emotions play a critical role in high-level cognition. In this essay, I am going to explain to what extent biological and cognitive factors interact in emotion.
Biological factors are generally considered as one of the essential factors of emotion. This includes brain activity, facial expressions and the functioning of the ANS (autonomic nervous system), which controls involuntary functions such as secretion of hormones in the human body. The cognitive factors on the other hand includes basic sensory processing, and seen as depending on the hippocampus and amygdala.
Many old theories initially explored individual and interaction between biological and cognitive factors in relation to emotion. One of the most well known old theories is the James-Lange theory. The James-Lange theory (1884) argued that emotional experience is the result, rather than the cause of perceived bodily changes. When we meet a bear, bodily changes occur first – we run away. Then the cortex interprets the bodily changes as a link to the emotion, assuming that we must be frightened because we ran away. We assume our personal state by inferring how we feel based on the perception of our own bodily changes. A study by Valins (1966) investigated the male feedback of their heart rate...