Human Emotion Processing at the Neuronal Level -- from MEDSCAPE
Dec 31, 2000 11:15 PST
I scan a lot of articles each week for important connections to doyletics.
Here's one that popped up this week. Note the one's below that are prefaced
by the asterisks that I added. They point to a confusion on the part of the
researchers as to how "aversive images" or "emotional categories" could
cause a response so fast, .12 seconds, from the cortical regions they're
measuring. To the doyletics researcher, this is not surprising, and is in
fact predictable. The phrases "aversive images" and "emotional categories"
refer to stimuli for doyles which the limbic system is fully capable of
responding to much faster than the cortical regions according to LeDoux's
experimental results. The "emotional categories" are their words for doyles
that trigger other doyles. Their presupposition that "emotional categories"
are complexes that must be worked out by the neocortex caused them to
befuddled by a response far too fast to be done by the neocortex. For the
amydaline limbic region, it's a piece of cake to respond that fast.
Note how he says that,
"It makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary point of view."
That fits with my hypothesis that the amygdaline-limbic region developed
doylic memory a long time ago evolutionarily and those functions operate
yet today unconsciously.
in freedom and light,
December 31, 2000 Clipped by Bobby Matherne:
Human Emotion Processing at the
Neuronal Level Investigated
December 29, 2000
A region at the front of the brain's right hemisphere, the prefrontal
cortex, plays a critical role in how the human brain processes emotions.
Data from previous studies of brain lesions (areas of damage that alter
the brain's ability to generate normal emotions) and data from
functional brain imaging studies have delineated the extent of the area
involved. However, a recent University of Iowa study is the first to
investigate human emotion processing by the right prefrontal cortex at
the level of individual brain cells.
"This kind of single-cell study is very rarely performed in humans," said
Ralph Adolphs, PhD, assistant professor of neurology and principal
investigator of the study. The findings appear in the January issue of
A rare surgical situation allowed the researchers to record the activity
of individual brain cells, neurons, in an awake, alert patient as he was
shown images designed to elicit an emotional response.
The patient was undergoing neurosurgery to treat epilepsy, which had
not responded to medication. Usually, electroencephalogram (EEG)
electrodes placed on the scalp would be used to pinpoint where in the
brain the epileptic seizures are localized. However, in this case that
approach did not work so, for treatment purposes, the surgeon
implanted depth electrodes into the patient's brain to monitor where the
"We used a custom-designed hybrid research-clinical depth electrode,
which provided the neurosurgeon with the clinical information
necessary to locate the area causing the seizures," explained Adolphs.
"The electrode also had a series of special contacts on its shaft, through
which we were able to isolate the activity of single brain cells.
Recording the activity of the neurons posed no additional risk to the
Monitoring single neurons in the right prefrontal cortex, the researchers
found that these cells responded remarkably rapidly to unpleasant
images, which included pictures of mutilations and scenes of war.
Happy or neutral pictures did not cause the same rapid response from
To ensure that these neurons were not reacting to pictures that were
brighter or larger or had more of a particular color, the researchers
were particularly careful to make sure that the only difference among
these pictures was their emotional content.
****** "The changes in firing pattern of neurons responding to the
aversive visual stimuli happened within about 0.12 seconds,
which is very fast and probably prior to the patient consciously
'seeing' the image," Adolphs said.
******* "The speed at which these cells change their firing rates is
surprisingly rapid. We thought it would take much longer for these
neurons to be able to extract information about an emotion category,
which is really a very high level cognitive function," Adolphs added.
******** Although the researchers were surprised by the speed at
which the neurons reacted to the aversive images, Adolphs indicated
that the findings are consistent with the idea that the brain has
systems that can respond extremely rapidly to potentially dangerous
or threatening kinds of stimuli.
"It makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary point of view," he said.
The study shows that neurons in the right prefrontal cortex are able to
distinguish, or categorize, emotional information from visual stimuli
very rapidly. Adolphs also indicated that it seems likely that signals
from these cells may serve to modulate visual information processing
by other regions of the brain.
"The area of the brain that we recorded from, the prefrontal cortex, is
only one component of a widely distributed neural system for encoding
this information," Adolphs said. "We think that another part of that
information is encoded in visual cortices. The visual cortices would
respond when the stimulus is seen, then those responses would be
changed by subsequent input from the prefrontal cortex."
Although the study involved only one patient who had epilepsy, the
region of the brain where the recording was performed was distant
from the site of the epileptic seizures. This meant that the tissue being
studied was essentially normal, healthy prefrontal cortex.
Nat Neurosci. 2001;4:15-16
MedscapeWire is prepared by Deborah Flapan, associate editor at Medscape.
press releases and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~The Beat goes on~~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
Bobby Matherne -- http://doyletics.com -- New Orleans, Louisiana
"The Ahrimanic Deception -- Oct.27, 1919 Lecture in Zurich"
by Rudolf Steiner, Review by Bobby Matherne