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why have psychologists neglected the role of emotion in cognition?

It’s too complex and messy!


What are the pro’s of neglecting emotion?

Easier to get a clearer idea of “mind as a computer” and break info-processing down into discrete steps

understand the processes in isolation without emotion being involved


what are the con's of neglecting emotion?

not v realistic as many situations are affectively valenced in the real world.


Define “embodied cognition” and the related concept of “embodied emotion” and give an example of a situation that illustrates the latter

High-level cognitive processes (such as thought, language) use partial reactivations of states in sensory, motor and affective systems to do their jobs.

The grounding for knowledge is the original neural state that occurred when the information was initially acquired, i.e. using knowledge is like reliving past experience in at least some of its sensory, motor and affective modalities.

Embodied emotion implies that retrieving an emotional memory reactivates the same (or similar) neural processes to those activated during experiencing an emotion or perceiving an emotional stimulus.


When you think of a “bear” do you re-activate the full multi-modal neural representation that was present at encoding / encountering the bear?


you might reactivate say just the visual impression which then triggers the reactivation of other systems / modalities, but the reactivation is likely to be just partial.

Only the aspects that are most salient and important to the individual would be reactivated and this would probably include the affective representation as this tends to be highly salient and important.


What are “mirror neurons” and what role could they play in embodied cognition?

These map the correspondences between observed and performed actions and fire both when an individual (or monkey) performs an action and observes another undertaking it.

By activating the same neurons when observing as when doing, this provides an ‘embodied’ representation that helps the individual to understand and learn from observations.


What evidence do neuroimaging studies provide in support of embodied emotion? Describe an example of the findings from one relevant neuroimaging study

People activate similar brain regions when recognising facial expressions in others, and when they experience the emotions themselves.

E.g. inhaling a nasty odour and feeling disgusted shows overlapping activation with watching videos of others expressing disgust; having painful stimulation applied to your own hand activates similar brain regions to watching painful stimulation being applied to someone else’s hand.


Why might happily married couples look more like one another than unhappily married couples?

Years of mimicking eachother’s facial expressions (important for effective emotional imitation / empathy) leads to the same facial muscles being used so that couples start to resemble one another


How might emotional embodiment contribute to observational learning and how might this confer benefits for survival?

You ‘feel another’s pain’ so learn positive and negative outcomes from their experience that you can reactivate in the future without needing to experience it directly.

This avoids needing exposure to dangerous situations to learn and helps people learn positively reinforced behaviours to make them more successful


Is emotional “embodiment” automatically evoked when you read a word? Under what circumstances is it evoked?


It is evoked when you focus on the affective valence of words and therefore need to activate the associated embodied state, not when you need to focus on e.g. perceptual features (e.g. is word presented in capital letters?)


How do studies of task-switching provide evidence in support of emotional embodiment?

They suggest it is a modality to be switched to or from, just like any other modality (auditory, visual, taste) as indicated by interference effects (switch costs).

However, by considering emotional embodiment to be “just another modality” this seems to agree with the position criticised - that emotion is equivalent to other dissociable aspects of information-processing


What might provide further evidence in support of the emotional embodiment interpretation of the Vermuelen et al. study

Facial EMG / psychophysiological data? But task may need to go too quickly to allow for such data to be collected in response to specific words / trials