Siegel/tdm/139 –

From topic in siegel’s emotion, put here rather than in EMOTION NOTES part 2 because this is brain specific information:


“central to this process of creating meaning and emotion”

+ ”…this area of the brain sits at the interface between “lower” regions involved in taking input from the body and the senses, and the “higher” parts involved in (139) integrating information and creating complex thoughts and plans.” (140)

+ ”This integrating region is involved in stimulus appraisal (the meaning, value, or emotional valence given to a stimulus),”

+ “affect regulation (the capacity of the brain to modulate its psychophysiological state),”

+ “social cognition (the complex process by which one individual is able to have “mindsight” or the ability to perceive the mental state of another),”

+ “and autonoetic consciousness (the ability to perform mental time travel).  (tdm/140)”

+ “It is this region that is postulated to be one of the core areas of deficit in the major disorder of social cognition, autism (tdm/140).”  (he points his reference to Baron-Cohen)

+ is one of the appraisal-arousal structures — is involved in “other cognitive processes involving the appraisal-arousal structures” along with….see below


+ include the orbitofrontal cortex

+ the anterior cingulated

+ the amygdala

+++which “include emotional memory (especially fear), empathy (feeling what another feels), and categorical emotions. (tdm/140)”



+ “…central in mediating a process we can call “response flexibility”….is at the interface of the CNS (central nervous system) between automatic default-mode operations of the CNS and “neural processes that allow for flexible adaptations to shifting contexts and perspectives. (140)”

++++”In other words, the orbitofrontal region is active in taking changing or unexpected internal and external conditions and creating new and flexible behavioral and cognitive responses instead of automatic reflexive ones. (tdm/140)”



+ mediates working memory

++ “We can propose that this response-flexibility process may become integrated with the other functions subsumed by the orbitofrontal cortex, as described above, as well as other related regions, such as the lateral prefrontal cortex and its mediation of working memory. (tdm/140)”

+ related region to the orbitofrontal cortex, along with + the anterior cingulated

+ the amygdala, — and he’s vague here – “other related regions”???

(is the lateral prefrontal cortex different from the “prefrontal cortex?”


+ critical role in attentional and emotional modulations so that “neural responses” can “reflect significance” and not just the “surface properties of sensory events. (quoting Mesulam) (tdm/140)”

+  mediates response flexibility – “The prefrontal mediation of response flexibility may thus entail a coordinated process incorporating sensory, perceptual, and appraisal mechanisms and enabling new and personally meaningful responses to be enacted. (tdm/140)”

(makes me think of the fox incident, where I was attempting, no doubt, to personalize an experience for my SELF, which was, as usual, disastrously interrupted and interpreted by mother as a terrible act on my part:  sleeping while being included on a family outing.  Also makes me think of the shampoo incident, where I intentionally lied to see if she could tell the difference – on both occasions attempting to interject my SELF between the mirrors of my existence.  I had no right, in my mother’s world, which was my world, to have any response flexibility.  She controlled me!)

+  (continued, sentence following siegel’s last above)

“We can propose that such an integrating function may allow an individual, for example, to approach life decisions, relationships, and perhaps narrative responses with self-reflection and with a sense of perspective on past, present, and future considerations.  In this manner, the capacity for response flexibility may become functionally linked with other prefrontally mediated domains…such as (tdm/140) autonoetic consciousness, social cognition, emotionally attuned communication, and working memory.  The outcome of such well-developed and integrated functioning can be proposed to play a central role in the individual’s ongoing development, subjective experiences, and interpersonal relationships. (tdm/141)”

(I am copying this over both to SELF NOTES part 2 and to TIME NOTES part 2)


earlier paragraph is in EMOTION NOTES


“How are response flexibility and other integrative processes influenced by the emotional communication inherent in many inter- (siegle/tdm/141) personal relationships?  Looking toward neurobiological structure and function may shed some light on this question.  The orbitofrontal cortex sits at a crucial neuoranatomic position at the uppermost part of the limbic system – the center of our basic appraisals, thought to be the origin of our widely distributed emotional experiences. (tdm/142)”

“…a controversy exists as to what the limitations of the limbic region actually are:  Its boundaries as a major center for influencing the functioning of the brain cannot be clearly delineated, and in this way the entire brain can be considered “emotional.”  As we can see, the social/emotional/meaning-making processes of the limbic system help coordinate a wide range of mental functions.  The result of the adaptive integration of these functions may be the proposed process of response flexibility.  (tdm/142)”

“The orbitofrontal cortex receives direct input from the sensory cortex, which is responsible for perception; the somatosensory cortex and brainstem, which register somatic sensation; the autonomic nervous system, which controls bodily functions; the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, involved in attentional processes; the medial temporal lobe, involved in explicit memory; and the associational cortex, involved in abstract forms of thought…. (tdm/142)”

“Allan Schore has described how the development of the orbitofrontal cortex is thought to depend on stimulation from the emotional connections of the attachment figure in the form of eye contact, face-to-face communication, and affective attunement.”  (tdm/142)…he is referencing Shore 1994, 1997

“The orbitofrontal cortex, like the amygdala, has specific cells particularly responsive to facial expression and eye gaze direction.  These fundamental aspects of social signals specifically activate these regions of the brain.  The orbitofrontal cortex is also crucial in coordinating bodily states and the widely distributed and linked representations that are fundamental to reasoning processes, motivation, and the creation of emotional meaning.”  (tdm/142)


(this next paragraph is also copied into EMOTION NOTES)

“Emotion is a fundamental part of attachment relationships in the early years and throughout the lifespan.  The earliest forms of communication are about primary emotional states.  This sharing of basic appraisal and arousal processes establishes the fundamental way in which one person becomes connected to another within emotional relationships.  We can also propose that the reciprocal collaboration within such contingent communication facilitates the development of a parallel, prefrontally mediated process, response flexibility, that enables the individual to respond to changing internal and interpersonal contexts in an adaptive, “internally collaborative” manner (siegel/tdm/142).  Such internal collaboration may be seen as a way in which widely distributed neural processes come to be recruited into a flexible state of mind, one that is adaptive to a arrange of internal as well as external factors.  In this way, we can see how intimate, reciprocal human communication may directly activate the neural circuitry responsible for giving meaning, integrating the capacity for flexible responses, and shaping the subjective experience of living an emotionally vibrant life (siegle/tdm/143)”


“…contracting the muscles of the left side of the face (presumably requiring activation of the right hemisphere) is associated with negative bias, whereas contracting those of the right side of the face (presumably requiring left-brain activation) leads to positive appraisals.  Somatosensory data from the face are registered in the brain and directly influence the state of activation, so that information processing is shaped by the effects of this information. “(tdm/143)”


somatosensory cortex

change in bodily state perceived and represented in brain as “somatic marker” —two forms of bodily response especially relevant –

“Muscle changes in our limbs and faces are highly sensitive components of emotional reactions, and these send input directly to the brain and are represented in an area called the (tdm/143) somatosensory cortex.  Of note is hat the portion of the somatosensory cortex in the right hemisphere has more integrated representations than that in the left hemisphere, suggesting a more direct role of the right brain in the processing of somatic markers.  …the brain’s asymmetry plays an important role in understanding emotion and the mind.  (tdm/144)

“The other form of bodily response is in changes in the viscera, such as the stomach, intestines, heart, and lungs.  Visceral changes are registered in the orbitofrontal cortex and related areas, also especially in the right hemisphere….these regions of the brain monitor as well as regulate these visceral reactions (tdm/144)”

talks next about trauma, but is over in EMOTION NOTES


(this is all copied from EMOTION NOTES)

“A distressed response is most readily seen in the body’s state of increased sweating, heart rate, respiration, and muscle tension.  Each of these may become activated in attachment situations within avoidantly attached children and dismissing adults.  To avoid impairment of functioning, (which my mother couldn’t do, and I barely can) the representation of these responses must be kept away from working memory (we are not able to do this).  To accomplish such a task means creating a pattern of neural interactions in which somatic markers are not linked to the working memory processes of the lateral prefrontal cortex.

“Given the location of these processes, we can hypothesize….the cortical representations of somatic muscle responses are most highly integrated in the right hemisphere of the brain.  Visceral responses are monitored by the orbitofrontal cortex and the closely associated anterior cingulate, also primarily on the right side.  The lateral prefrontal cortex is centered just to the side of the orbitofrontal cortex, with which it receives and sends direct connections.  Reduction in input to the right lateral prefrontal cortex would be quite helpful to avoid receiving the representations of the right-sided somatosensory and orbitofrontal cortices.

“….Impaired input of the right-sided sources of somatic markers would functionally lead such individuals to be consciously unaware of their bodies’ responses.  They would therefore not be able to know easily how they feel.  Furthermore, if the right lateral prefrontal cortex has more general blockages, we would predict that the other functions of the right hemisphere might also be less accessible to conscious awareness….difficult time seeing the gist or context of things….unable to read his wife’s state of mind as expressed through her nonverbal signals.  Such difficulties are all problems in functions of the right hemisphere….(siegel/tdm/147)”



This is copied also into SELF NOTES and EMOTION NOTES

“From a developmental perspective, the most utilitarian of these benefits is that parents can sense the inner needs of their children and therefore maximize the potential of their offspring’s survival.  Another benefit of empathic attunement is that it creates an attachment bond between parent and child, which provides a source of increasingly complex layers of external and then internal security for the growing child in the increasingly challenging world encountered as he develops.  The experience of being understood develops a mental model or inner expectation that needs are important and goals are achievable.  Also, the child’s system requires the parent’s attunement to help organize the child’s own mind.  Positive emotional states are amplified and negative ones modulated within these attuned communications.  As the child grows, these repeated alignments of mental states allow him to develop a self-organized capacity for autonomous state regulation.  Human infants have profoundly underdeveloped brains.  Maintaining proximity to their caregivers is essential, both for survival and for allowing their brains to use the mature states of the attachment figure to help them organize their own mental functioning.

“The subjective side of these emotional connections is that it allows a sense of belonging to grow within the individual.  “Feeling felt” is the subjective experience of mental state attunement.  The pleasurable response to such a resonance of minds may be built into our brains as a genetic inheritance of evolutionary history.  For us as social animals, our having a such a sense encourages group behavior, which has been of great survival value to our species as we evolved….” (siegle/tdm/149)”


copied from EMOTION NOTES

“Empathic emotional connections require some way in which internal states are expressed externally.  Primates are the only group of animals with muscle endings on the skin of the face; this gives us the capacity for a huge assortment of facial expressions, which are directly controlled by our nervous systems.  Our tremendously rich enervation allows for exquisitely subtle and rapid alterations in facial (siegel/tdm/149) expression.  To match this expressive ability, primates have neuronal groups in the brain that are specialized to respond to faces, and also to particular facial expressions!  As we’ve discussed, these neuronal groups often rest in the value system circuits of our brains, such as in the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex.  We are hard-wired to express emotional states through the face.  (boy ,my mother’s face showed it all!)

“Complex neural/bodily aspects of emotional processes are not easily translated into words.  Nonverbal expressions, including those of the face, tone of voice, and gestures, can transfer information about internal states more fully to the outside world than words can do.  When anyone asks, “How are you feeling?”, it is a huge translational challenge to turn such subtle and dynamic neural processes into a verbal statement.  Emotion can be seen as an energizing drive toward motion.  Seeing what a person does, rather than asking her how she feels, can often be a more direct road into the person’s emotional state….The message is in the medium of how we respond, not in the words alone.

“The link between emotion and action is in the appraisal-arousal foundation of these processes.  At their core, appraisals define what is good or bad, what should be approached or avoided….(siegle/tdm/150)”


emotion and the hemispheres

Affect:  expressed through facial expression, through modulations in tone and prosody of voice =

“…nonverbal aspects of language communication, in both their expression and perception, appear to be mediated predominantly by the right hemi- (siegle/tdm/150) sphere….What is striking is the finding that the registration of the status of the body itself is also much ore highly integrated in the right hemisphere than in the left….even the regulation of the body’s autonomic nervous system is primarily mediated by right-brain mechanisms.  The right hemisphere therefore appears to play a major role in mediating emotional processes, as well as in permitting the expression of emotional states and the conscious awareness of emotional experience.  (siegel/tdm/151)”  (copy last sentence into EMOTION NOTES and SELF NOTES)

“Appraisal and arousal occur on both sides of the brain, as do other emotional processes.  However, the subjective experience and the nature of emotion on either side of the brain may be quite different. Leading theories propose a number of disparate views of emotions and brain asymmetry.  One major perspective is that of the valence hypothesis, which suggests that unpleasant emotions are processed on the right side and pleasant ones on the left.  Consistent with this suggestion is the view that withdrawal states and processes are located on the right side, whereas approach states and processes are located on the left.  Another view is that socially mediated emotions, such as guilt or the enactment of social display rules, are processed in the left hemisphere, whereas more basic, spontaneous emotions are processed in the right hemisphere.  Still others argue that raw, intense emotional experience is primarily mediated via the right hemisphere. (siegel/tdm/151)”

“From a neuroscientific view of emotion as a socially mediated set of processes affecting all other mental processes, one can look to our basic elements of the mind as composed of the flow of energy and of information within the brain for insights into this dilemma of multiple theories.  Primary emotional states are often directly expressed via nonverbal components of communication, including facial expressions and tones of voice.  Primary emotional states are directly shaped by bodily response and directly influence bodily responses.  These two basic somatic functions of primary emotions have been demonstrated to be mediated and perceived by the right hemisphere of the brain.  Furthermore, in studies of patients with blocked communication between the two hemispheres, the left brain appears unable to register the facial expression of others.  The right brain both perceives and sends messages through facial expressions and tone of voice.  It may therefore be fair to propose that the non- (siegel/tdm/151) verbal right hemisphere may be the location for the subjective awareness and expression of primary emotions as we have defined them.  The processing of such emotions, however, is likely to be mediated by both hemispheres.  (siegel/tdm/152)”

“Developmental studies suggest that in fact each hemisphere may mediate quite different processes of engagement with the environment.  As noted above, this may mean that approach is mediated by the left hemisphere and withdrawal by the right.  For example, behaviorally inhibited (shy) children reveal a dominance in right frontal electrical activity at baseline; more adventurous children demonstrate left frontal activation….Left frontal activation is associated with active approach, positive affect, exploration, and sociability.  The absence of left frontal activation leads to an absence of positive affect and the experience of depression.  In contrast, right frontal activation leads to active withdrawal, negative affect, and fear/anxiety.  Hypoactivation of the right frontal region leads to disinhibition of approach, with impulsivity and hyperactivity.  Such a view can explain some features of shy and of aggressive children and the changes in their states as the context may alter their frontal activation profiles. (siegel/tdm/152)”

“Further developmental studies suggest that both constitutional/temperamental and experience/attachment features may directly shape these patterns of frontal activation.  In the case of depressed mothers, for example, there is a marked decrease in shared positive affect states, and the infants (and their mothers) are seen as withdrawn.  In both parents and children, there is a marked decrease in left frontal activation.  If such depression lasts beyond the first year of life, the infants may continue to express this pattern of frontal activity.  (siegel/tdm/152)”


goes now to “subjective experience” in EMOTION NOTES (which includes music)



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