3. Topic s under Discussion
• BRAIN & EMOTIONS
• BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF EMOTIONS
• RELEVANCE OF POSITIVE EMOTIONS
• SCOPE FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
• Emotions are not mere feelings— but
there exists a biological basis for human
• Emotions are, by definition, associated
with urges or specific
action tendencies to
act in particular way.
5. • Four aspects of emotion are
• Emotions are either positive or
7. • Primary Emotions: Happy, Sad, Surprise, Fear,
Disgust and Anger.
• Primary emotions are those that we feel first, as a
first response to a situation.
• Secondary emotions appear after primary
emotions and is divided into Positive and Negative
• Positive Emotions are love, astonishment,
appreciation, enthusiasm etc…
• Negative Emotions are: guilt, depression, pride,
9. Emotions are assumed to be the
product of neural circuits in the brain. Some of
the newer, more recently evolved neural
structures, such as the limbic system, play vital
roles in emotional expression.
• Prefrontal cortex :
Regulation of emotion and behavior by
anticipating the consequences of our actions.
11. • Amygdalae
• The amygdale are two small, round
structures located anterior to the hippocampus
they are critical for the production of emotion,
particularly so for negative.
• Anterior cingulate
• The anterior cingulated cortex (ACC)
is located in the middle of the brain, This
region of the brain may also play an important
role in the initiation of motivated behavior.
13. Ventral striatum
The ventral striatum is a group of subcortical
structures that play an important role in emotion
One part of the ventral striatum called the nucleus
accumbens is involved in the experience of goal-
directed positive emotion.
Individuals with addictions experience increased
activity in this area when they encounter the object
of their addiction.
• The insular cortex is thought to play a critical
role in the bodily experience of emotion, as it is
connected to other brain structures that regulate
the body’s autonomic functions (heart rate,
breathing, digestion, etc.).
• This region also processes taste information
and is thought to play an important role in
experiencing the emotion of disgust.
16. • Amygdala is part of limbic system that
evaluates the valence of emotional
stimuli and crudely processes fear-
relevant stimuli prior to awareness and
alerts the cortex, which does more
extensive stimulus appraisal.
• Amygdala, is the center for identification
of danger and hence for self
19. Biology of Emotion
• Emotions are more than just a feeling state
— that they are whole-body states that
activate hormonal responses, the
cardiovascular system and other systemic
• During arousal neurochemicals like
dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin
step-up or step-down the brain's activity
20. Neurobiology of stress
"If you do not bring forth what is within you, what
you do not bring forth will destroy you." (The
Gnostic Gospel of Thomas )
Stress leads to toxic amount of neuro-chemicals
which will accumulate in the brain, clogging up
Stress is off course damaging to health. Thus
stress is associated with physiological changes
and cause activation of sympathetic system and
lowers the activation of parasympathetic system.
21. • Stress triggers hypothalamic pituitary
adrenocortical system (HPA system) and one
risk is the disposition of lipids in the walls of
• Excessive level of corticosteroids over a
protracted period damages the immune and
• Thickening of the walls of the arteries also lead
to risks from Coronary Heart Diseases .
• There is an increased risk of ulceration..
• It is important to learn how to handle stress.
Mindfulness meditation, an active search for
22. HORMONES RELATED TO POSITIVE EMOTIONS
• Oxytocin released from the posterior pituitary
following the birth of offspring is associated with
optimism in women within the context of socially
• Oxytocin down-regulate sympathetic hypothalamic-
pitutary-adrenocortical activity and so reduces stress
• Positive emotions has also heightened NK (Natural
Killer or lymphocytes) cell activity in individuals with
23. • Hope and optimism is associated with efficient
functioning of neurotransmitter systems
involving serotonin and noradrenalin.
• Self control that leads to production of,
Neurotransmitters like neuroendocrines and
catecholamine mirror the level of felt self
efficacy. This sense of realistic self efficacy
lessen cardiac reactivity and lower blood
pressure there by facilitating coping.
• Positive emotions have an evolutionary
• Experiencing positive emotions increases
our survival chances because positive
emotions broaden our intellectual,
physical, and social resources and build
reserves for us to draw upon.
• Strengthen your immune system to help
healing and boost your resistance to
26. • Anger and its improper management, for
instance, have been implicated in the etiology of
heart disease and some cancers as well as in
aggression and violence, especially in men and
• By practicing positive emotions, they cope better
with stressful situations. They also actively avoid
stressful life events and form better social suppor
network around themselves.
28. A chief task of positive psychology in the
coming decades is to reorient and
integrate our research and insights with the
main stream of science more generally.
. Exploring underlying brain mechanisms
regarding the impacts of positive
psychological states on behavior, using
techniques such as MRI, will be an
increasingly important integrative thrust
for positive psychology as well.
29. • The Psychological and the biological
science are coming together as never
before, and the most creative discoveries
of the next decade will integrate the
biological, psychological and social levels
• Positive psychology is poised to be in the
vanguard of this exciting integrative
Alan Carr , Positive Psychology:
Science of Happiness and Human
Strength, Routledge Publication ,
Frederick Toates, 2007, Biological
psychology An Integrative aproach,
Pearson Education Ltd
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, 2005
Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect:
Does Happiness Leads to Success?,
Psychological Bulletin, , Vol. 131.
Rob Kall, The Art of Positive Experiences
and Good Feelings.
Holly Vanscoy, ‘Unraveling the Biology of
Emotions’, Psych Central.
Seligman M (2002) Authentic happiness:
Using new Positive Psychology to Realize
your potential for Lasting Fulfillment.
New York: Free Press.