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Voiceprint Analysis

Emotion & Brain

Emotions (1)

Marcus Aurelius (167 A.C.E.) : If you are distressed by anything external (or internal), the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment’


Emotions: a way to survival

Evolution theory tells us that emotions had an important function in the survival of the type in a certain environment. Darwin: Animals need emotions to survive, emotions are maintained from our animal past: Fear as a trigger to escape predators and aggression to defend territory, young and food.

We rely on our emotions to make quick, often complex, decisions

Candice Pert, author of the book ‘Molecules of Emotion’ stresses the importance of processing emotions for our survival as well:
“The cave woman who could remember which cave had the gentle guy who gave her food is more likely to be our foremother than the cavewoman who confused it with the cave that held the killer bear. The emotion of love (or something resembling it) and the emotion of fear would help her secure her memories.”

Nowadays emotions are still important and there are many different views about emotions.

I made a compellation of several views to explain more:

Philippe Goldin Ph D, the Search Inside Yourself (SIY) coach from Google asks and answers:

Why do we have emotions?

Because emotion:

1. Directs attention

2. Enhances memory

3. Organizes behaviour

4. Drives social approach and avoidance

5. Increases moral development

6. Shows how Adaptive or Deregulated we are

Damassio AR The feeling of what happens, Body Emotions and the Making of Consciousness, New York NT 1999 tells us about:

Classes of Emotions:

  • Six primary emotions: happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, disgust and anger
  • Emotions appear in pairs: well-being/malaise, calm/tense, pain/pleasure
  • Secondary or social emotions: embarrassment, jealousy, shame, guilt, pride

In the English language more than 600 words exists to describe different emotions, there are 42 muscles to express emotions and there is a facial action coding system for emotions (Paul Ekman Ph D)

Range of emotions:

Emotions exist in a broad range, from ‘normal’ to extreme:

Sadness –> Depression

Anger –> Unprovoked aggression

Pleasure –> Addiction

Fear (appropriate in dangerous situations) –> Exaggerated anxiety, phobia, panic

Worry –> General anxiety disorder

  • Emotions are cross-cultural….. that’s why music or painting is international :-)
  • Emotions are an important source of information and feedback and help to direct our behaviour and social interaction: –> Gut instinct, intuition

The Brain

Frontal lobe lesions can result in impaired emotional awareness, social reasoning and decision-making







The Last decades research is concentrated on emotions in the Limbic system. The Emotional Brain = The Limbic system

Measuring emotions:

- Subjective from moment to moment

- Facial expressions

- All sorts of peripheral testing by skin etc.

- Functional brain imaging (fMRI) (non invasive method)

- Measuring under the skull directly in the neo cortex (invasive method)

- Voice Print (VPA)

The Process of regulation in a person:

Genes–><– molecules–><–neurons–><–neuronal circuits–><–cognition, emotional behaviour

In these articles about Emotions we look only at:

The working between Neuronal circuits & cognition, emotional behaviour

Research shows what an emotional trigger does and how certain brain areas, connected with certain emotions, are discovered :

A person experiences in fMRI suddenly an angry face–> neural firing–>neural circuit–>signal (meant to send : oxygenated haemoglobin, blood flow, blood volume, glucose) –> lot of signal processing & statistics to create brain maps (for example: amygdale response ) to infer the underlying neural activity that’s occurring in response to looking into that angry face –> then we use our knowledge of functional anatomy what different brain systems are doing in conjunction with specific experimental design to tease out the different functions of the brain.

And last but not least……

Recent studies show that internet and virtual addiction leads to other circuits in the pre-frontal brain area: diminishing for example the concentration to read a thick book or to stay aware in communication! And you need long periods of ‘digital detox’ to redevelop these circuits.


So if you like reading good, thick books and having good communication with family and friends a virtual diet is necessary :-)

To be continued…..

Margriet Groenevelt, PuurZaam™