Neuroscience: Basic Emotions

This is a presentation on how the world of neuroscience conceptualizes emotions. Many neuroscientists have managed to co-relate modern neuro-scientific understandings with psychoanalytic theories (of Freud and Co.). Neurobiology is not complete without psychology and vice versa. Knowing both the biological/ molecular biological aspect of brain function and the psycho-social aspect of the mind provides us with a holistic picture of mental life. Treatment methods are more effective with holistic attitude of the practitioners.

consciousness basic emotions


While these ideas are not new, there is much more information that can be inferred from this knowledge in the profession of psychotherapy. What I am currently interested in is in the individual differences of patients suffering from psychopathologic symptoms that are given blanket descriptions in the DSM namely:

  • Anxiety Disorders: is the anxiety derived from “panic” (as in the experience of loss?)? “Fear” (as in post traumatic disorders o phobias?
  • Depression: is this a derivative of loss, grief and lack of mourning? is this the reason why we are seeing clients who suffer both anxiety and depression?
  • Anger management: is it anger due to frustration (Rage), or anger due to appetite (predatory, seeking)?
  • Shame: where does this come in? it is not basic emotion? Do we not see it in animals? How does shame in animals look like? Human can articulate shame? is shame only a human phenomenon?


Solm’s lecture

How this concept compares to other theories in neuroscience


Solms, M. (2015). The animal within us. Source: Youtube URL

Solms, M., & Turnbull, O. (2002). The brain and the inner world: An introduction to the neuroscience of subjective experience. Karnac Books.