Emotions have been studied for centuries. The theories on emotions have developed with the passing years. Four of the main theories, however, on emotions that I will be discussing are Darwin’s theory, the James-Lang theory, the Cannon-Bard theory, and the Limbic System. Emotions are carried out by every person. They are real, and we all feel them. Darwin’s theory was the theory of the evolution of emotion. This was also the first major event to happen with the biopsychology of emotion is 1872. Darwin believed that the expression of one’s emotions were simply the product of evolution itself.
He tested and tracked this with not only man, but species as well. His theory on the evolution of expressing emotions had developed into emotions that are clearly expressed in body language, hand gestures, and facial expressions was a clear indicator of what was to come. This was for humans and animal species. The James-Lang theory is the first physiological theory. This theory was brought to light independently by William James and Carl Lang in 1884. This is the theory that an event would spark an arousal before an emotion is displayed.
It is said that the autonomic and somatic responses cause the experience of emotion in the brain. This means that a person would not display an emotion until after some kind of physical happening. The Cannon-Bard theory came about in 1915 by Walter Cannon, and Philip Bard. It is the theory that arousal and emotion go off simultaneously. It just built on the James-Lang theory. It was said that emotion is sparked by arousal, and arousal is sparked by emotion, and that you experience the physical aspect and the emotional aspect at the same time.
The Limbic System is an order of nuclei and tracts that border around the thalamus. The Limbic System was what Papez referred to as the emotional expression of interconnected neural structures in 1937. He had stated that emotions were reactions to the other limbic structures on and around the thalamus and in turn, the experience of the emotion was due to the reaction of the limbic structures on and around the cortex (Pinel, 2007). Lastly, stress is a major significant emotion that so many unfortunately experience.
Stress can also make a huge impact on our health. This is called chronic psychological stress. Everybody’s bodies respond differently to this stress. The product of stress towards our body is known as the physiological changes that are referred to as the stress response. The actions of the stress response are directed solely on the person and what the stress is about. However, it can also depend on what the person may do for their self to remedy the situation that made them stress to begin with.
Pinel, J. P. J. (2007). Basics of Biopsychology. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.