Emotion is the acute disturbance of the organism as a whole, psychological in origin involving behaviour, conscious experiences and visceral functions.
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The term ’emotion’ has been derived from the Latin word “emovere” which -means ‘to move”, ‘to excite’, ‘to stirrup’, or ‘to agitate’.
Emotional behaviour involves both physiological and psychological activities. Any emotion consists of both mental and cognitive components and physiological responses. Emotion helps persons in the following ways.
The experience of emotion is associated with a variety of bodily changes, both overt and covert. Overt bodily manifestations of emotions are obvious and observable.
The visceral system of the Peripheral Nervous System is known as the Autonomic Nervous System. The sensory (afferent) and motor (efferent) nerves connecting the surface of the body with the central nervous system constitute the peripheral nervous system.
Hypothalamus sits at the mid-line of the brain just below the thalamus extending to the base of the brain, its size is not larger than the tip of a little finger and it weighs about less than one percent of the brain’s entire weight.
The limbic system is a group of structures of the brain lying in an area below the corpus callosum at the innermost edge of the cerebral hemisphere.
Amygdala is a part of the cerebellum in general and limbic system in particular. Findings by G.V. Goddar (1964) revealed that damage to the amygdala could turn a wild animal into a docile creature.
Many of our emotional reactions are innate as well as learnt too. Except the emotion of fear, rage and love, all other emotions are learned through experiences and interactions with people. Our emotional reactions are learnt through association with new objects and situations.
The field of emotion has received some theoretical approaches from researchers. These theories are based on experiments.