Emotional vs. Rational Mind States.

EMOTIONAL VS. RATIONAL MINDSTATES

Abstract.
In the introduction to a previous chapter (‘Towards a Coherent Metaphysics of Existential Reality’) we suggested that: “Our notion of free will in the BPS model is ‘freedom by conscious consent’ to (one of) an elaborate cortical attractor complex concatenation of appropriate adaptive responses consistent with a qualia of emotional happiness…” Now we expand on this assertion by dissecting and pointing out how may emotionally significant information (from visceral brain, perceptual receptors and motor/embodied inputs) is cognitively processed and play an important (deterministic?) causal role in creating or modifying the rational substratum component responsible for tailoring the design of the cortical attractor probable solution to a given contingency as expressed in the ‘free will’ consent to execute an ‘adaptive’ solution. How ‘objective’ or logical can our subjective decisions claim to be? We will examine the data underlying rational mechanisms in operation while we experience natural or induced (embodied) emotional perceptions or merely mental simulations thereof. We conclude that perceptual and/or psychological manipulations can be causally efficient in influencing the
processing of ongoing emotional and/or rational information input and the role mirror neurons may have in this epistemontological admixture. This analysis resurrects afresh two old controversies: do we fight now because we were angry or we got angry because we were fighting (see James and Lange 1884 paper); men are born naturally innocent and society eventually corrupts them (Rousseaux’s Social ‘Contract’) or men are born with reptilian brains and society eventually educates them? Thus we argue that:
1) The same mirror neurons networks in pre-motor cortical attractor space of an observer involved in a first order processing of sensory input from facial musculature, posture, motion and other natural body
language behavior and speech from an observed ‘other’, are involved in the cognitive instantiation of a self-induced emotional mental state equivalent to that of the observed ‘other’. This allows the observer to infer the emotional mental state of the ‘other’ when he is about to execute one of several probable adaptive responses to a contingent stimulus.

2) This may also be true whenhis body language is the result of an artificial manipulation simulating specific emotional states because such non-natural emotional embodiment can initiate or modify ongoing emotional qualia in synchrony with the emotional valence simulated.
3) Consequently it is not farfetched to assume that both observer and observed cortical pre-motor mirror neurons are also synchronized and entangled by resonant phase coupling allowing a second order tier of information to complement/supplement the sensory data.
4) We posit that the very same mirror neurons are actively involved in the instantiation of self consciousness when introspectively inner directed.
5) The available experimental data in the literature suggests that during the exercise of “free will by consent” (according to the BPS Model, when one of several probable adaptive alternatives available in cortical pre-motor attractor phase space) is not necessarily the most logical and seems to be strongly influenced by the emotional/psychic component of the biopsychosocial (BPS) equilibrium. The visceral brain compartment I insidiously surfaces in defense of biological integrity genes and sociological conviviality memes.

Introduction.
Anyone who has witnessed a ‘sham rage’ induction after a
friendly cat’s hypothalamus has been stimulated by electrodes can testify that he will remain friendly during and after the display of rage. We can infer that the cat is not experiencing the expected aggressive mental state. Can we extrapolate such inference to the human species? Experimental evidence on induced ‘embodied cognition’ in humans (no electrode brain stimulation!) suggests the opposite, i.e., a successful post-induction experience of an emotional feeling may not be dissociated from the corresponding motor activity.
This data suggests how effective embodiments of emotions -induced by perceptual or conceptual techniques- may be in creating the sought-after mind-set that precedes behavior, e.g., spending money. We discuss the likely neural pathways involved in such artificially created emotional states..

Argumentation.
We have discussed in previous writings how an emotional mental state can successfully be naturally induced in an observer by his watching the ‘other’ facial features, body language or verbal expressions when the observed is about to execute an adaptive behavior, as mediated by mirror neurons in their cortical pre-motor attractor spaces. For
details see “The Epistemontological Conundrum of Knowing Self and Others.”,Telicom XXIII.3, 2010. Now we add on more experimental data on the not-so-natural induction of emotional states in an individual subjected to manipulations of his facial musculature, body posture or motions as inducers.
We have previously reported on a very primitive recording (1970’s) of electromyographic (EMG) activity in muscles of facial expression in normal dental students and some of their bruxism patients when shown emotion-laden projections on a screen. In a nutshell, we were able to identify their expressed emotional state with an identifying graphic EMG ‘signature’ for every emotional valence where females consistently revealed an increased amplitude of waves as compared to males. At
that time we couldn’t look for inverted or negative recordings in a Tektronics oscilloscope -the equivalent of the evoked negative potentials in EEG recordings- because we interpreted the specific profiles of the tracings as an identifying, non-verbal indicator/representation of a particular emotional content, an ‘inner language’ equivalent. Interestingly, we discontinued the experiments because we suspected the sharp EMG needle electrodes may have contributed to an ever present negative emotional valence state to cancel or diminish positive
emotions and other problems with electronic background impedance. This may have been, in retrospect, the serendipitous beginning ‘embodiment of emotion’ studies as will be briefly discussed below, especially those concerned with positive emotional valence reports paradoxically associated with cognitive errors in performance. This is congruent with our suspicion that emotions, in defense of human biological integrity needs, may default any other psychic or rational sociological conveniences.
Now, what if, just like the facial musculature EMG output signals give us information about the subject’s (intra-species) emotional mind states, can these same muscles’ provide a self-directed input stimulus modifying his own emotional inner mind state? So much for painful needle EMG electrodes on the sensitive facial surface, especially after we learn that an innocent pencil held by a subject’s teeth (smiling)
or held vertically by his upper lip (frowning) can act to provide/induce a
self-directed positive and negative emotion respectively, just like the natural smile/frowning counterparts, as reported by the subjects.
Can an observer count on these non-natural facial manipulations, body postures, simulated body language or movements as reliable indicators of the ‘other’s real emotional mindstate, at least as a first order macro source of information? At the intraspecies first order macro level, there is evidence of a good correlation between the emotional qualia experienced and the corresponding facial manipulation. At the level of interspecies second order micro level the answer is a tentative yes only if we can establish a reliab …More to come…..

Anyone who has witnessed a ‘sham rage’ induction after a
friendly cat’s hypothalamus has been stimulated by electrodes can testify that
he will remain friendly during and after the display of rage. We can infer that
the cat is not experiencing the expected aggressive mental state. Can we
extrapolate such inference to the human species? Experimental evidence on
induced ‘embodied cognition’ in humans (no electrode brain stimulation!)
suggests the opposite, i.e., a successful post-induction experience of an
emotional feeling may not be dissociated from the corresponding motor activity.
This data suggests how effective embodiments of emotions -induced by perceptual
or conceptual techniques- may be in creating the sought-after mind-set that
precedes behavior, e.g., spending money. We discuss the likely neural pathways
involved in such artificially created emotional states..
Argumentation.
We have discussed in previous writings how an emotional mental state can
successfully be naturally induced in an observer by his watching the ‘other’ facial feaatures,
body language or verbal
expressions when the observed is about to execute an adaptive behavior, as
mediated by mirror neurons in their cortical pre-motor attractor spaces. For
details see “The Epistemontological Conundrum of Knowing Self and Others.”,
Telicom XXIII.3, 2010. Now we add on more experimental data on the
not-so-natural induction of emotional states in an individual subjected to
manipulations of his facial musculature, body posture or motions as inducers.

We have previously
reported on a very primitive recording (1970’s) of electromyographic (EMG)
activity in muscles of facial expression in normal dental students and some of
their bruxism patients when shown emotion-laden projections on a screen. In a
nutshell, we were able to identify their expressed emotional state with an
identifying graphic EMG ‘signature’ for every emotional valence where females
consistently revealed an increased amplitude of waves as compared to males. At
that time we couldn’t look for inverted or negative recordings in a Tektronics
oscilloscope -the equivalent of the evoked negative potentials in EEG
recordings- because we interpreted the specific profiles of the tracings as an
identifying, non-verbal indicator/representation of a particular emotional content, an ‘inner
language’ equivalent. Interestingly, we discontinued the experiments because we
suspected the sharp EMG needle electrodes may have contributed to an ever
present negative emotional valence state to cancel or diminish positive
emotions and other problems with electronic background impedance. This may have
been, in retrospect, the serendipitous beginning of ‘embodiment of emotion’
studies as will be briefly discussed below, especially those concerned with
positive emotional valence reports paradoxically associated with cognitive
errors in performance. This is congruent with our suspicion that emotions, in
defense of human biological integrity needs, may default any other psychic or
rational sociological conveniences.

Now, what if, just like the facial musculature EMG output signals give us
information about the subject’s (intra-species) emotional mind states, can these
same muscles’ provide a self-directed input stimulus modifying his own emotional inner mind state? So
much for painful needle EMG electrodes on the sensitive facial surface,
especially after we learn that an innocent pencil held by a subject’s teeth (smiling)
or held vertically by his upper lip (frowning) can act to provide/induce a
self-directed positive and negative emotion respectively, just like the natural
smile/frowning counterparts, as reported by the subjects.

Can an observer count on these non-natural facial
manipulations, body postures, simulated body language or movements as reliable
indicators of the ‘other’s real emotional mindstate, at least as a first order
macro source of information? At the intraspecies first order macro level, there is
evidence of a good correlation between the
emotional qualia experienced and the corresponding facial manipulation. At the
level of interspecies second order micro level the answer is a tentative yes only if we can
establish a reliab

About Dr.d

See CV, family & publications at: http://delaSierra-Sheffer.net/
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