EMOTIONS IN MAMMALS/HUMANS
A “guesstimate” is that most Mammals known today had ancestors living 70 million years ago. One of the earliest was the horse, descended from an ancestor about the size of a fox terrier. Mammals which out-grew the horse included the hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and elephant. Those developing large brains with “nails” on digits (fingers, thumb, and toes) and can grasp are called Primates—e.g. monkeys, apes, and humans. Mammalians’ nervous systems have reached incredible complexity in humans so as to impart in its activities flexibility, modificability (neuroplasticity), and multiple choices of action. It differs from lower vertebrates by its upper part and sides of the end-brain having grown outward into sack-like expansions to form the neo-pallium. This cerebral cortex dominates the entire Mammalian organism by differentiating into “centers” (more correctly, wide-spread “areas”). Meanwhile, the thalamus (‘inner room’) and the “brain stem” became extremely complex, developing a bewildering maze of connections with other parts of the brain. The result of these expansions and complications is that the old primary control systems of the brain pass under the dominance of the newer and higher centers but remain powerful. In order to carry out correct behaviors in relation to the survival of a given human and the group, certain parts of the brain (e.g. hypothalamus) have developed innate drives, desires, and emotions + the ability to remember and learn. Regions of the cerebral hemispheres closely related to the hypothalamus are called the Limbic Lobes. The expression of emotion and signaling to others depends greatly on the sympathetic Nervous System and also by regions above the hypothalamus and by the midbrain below it.
Humans are the only creatures to have evolved emotions and imagination. Europeans define Emotions in animals (vertebrates and, more controversially, other members of the Animal Kingdom) as subjective, conscious experiences, characterized by psycho-physiological expression, biological reactions, and mental states.They say Imagination developed in the Upper Paleolithic ‘revolution’ 50,000 years ago. However, I suspect it appeared at least 195,000 years back in order for Primitive Africans’ essential brain architecture to imagine things like gestures and Nature imitations—communication about new places and landscapes–storytelling–transmission of tool-making skills–planning of big game hunting—Beings in the Unseen World, including their Living-Dead Ancestors—and for Reasoning by Analogy. Imagination (the faculty of Imagining) is the ability to mentally form and manipulate new images into imagery and sensations not perceived through the Senses (e.g. sight, hearing). Hence, the Imaginative Faculty has significant control over a human’s physiological and psychological processes and thus its Imagery has great significance in health—Psychosomatic Medicine. Some say: (1) the cortical and subcortical network over a large part of the brain is the Imagination “mental committee area” involving the neocortex and the thalamus’s many different brain functions (e.g. emotions, memory, thoughts); (2) that there is an increase in the flow of information from the parietal (‘wall’) lobe of the brain to the occipital lobe—i.e. from a higher-order region that combines inputs from several of the senses out to a lower-order region; and, in contrast, that (3) visual information taken in by the eyes tends to flow from the occipital lobe (which makes up much of the brain’s visual cortex) “up” to the parietal lobe.
The role played by the Imagination embraces artistic creativity and coordinating details into a whole–dealing with concrete thoughts; coordinating different forms, tones, and harmonies in musical compositions; maneuvering and manipulating different shapes and colors into paintings; and congregatively assembling a whole out of parts by coordinating species that are outwardly, and perhaps inwardly different. These are called Congregative rather than Synthetical. Still in early human development all of these brain activities are in an automatic Natural Instinct state. Yet, mature volition + Imagination enable humans to maneuver/manipulate its ingredients to transcend beyond/outside Instincts. Both processes start the same–progressing from Sensations to Percepts to Notions—a crossroad where it can choose the direction of realistic Ideas or stay with emotionally tinged Distorted Ideas and the heavily emotionally wrapped Supernatural EPs Ideas. jabaileymd.com