¿Las emociones complejas nos dan alguna ventaja evolutiva?

Plants can find water, climb rocks, grow, reproduce and prosper, and all without the emotional baggage that humans carry. Life would definitely be easier as a plant! Even Plato believed that emotions were an obstacle to rational thought, but at the same time he wrote that «all

Learning has an emotional basis.» So what is your true role? Do complex emotions have evolutionary advantages? This video was proposed by our patron René Alberto Ortega Minakata and was voted among those who support us on Patreon and YouTube. Your monthly donation is very important to us and is what

Allows us to continue with the channel. You can also help us by clicking the join button on our channel or at The first thing would be to define what emotions are, but even that is complicated. In general, they are defined as spontaneous and

Complex reactions that are triggered by a stimulus. They are characterized because they involve physiological reactions such as: sweating, empty stomach, reddening of the face; behavioral such as: facial expressions, vocalizations and body movements and are subjective, for example, someone who is getting married may be excited, while another

Is nervous. Emotions produce patterns of feelings that characterize the personality and temperament of each person. And they differ from feelings because the latter are the mental associations that arise from emotions. Although there are theories that say that our emotions are learned cultural expressions, and there could be some truth to this,

In general emotions are considered something innate. Darwin observed that we share emotions with animals and even have some body and facial expressions in common with primates. This possibly started with primate binocular vision, because while it’s great for hand-eye coordination, it’s not very useful for spotting predators. They had to depend

On each other to find predators, and facial expressions became essential for communication. Darwin postulated that we relate some emotions to the natural expressions that our body has to certain stimuli. For example, before a meeting, the body prepares itself by increasing lung capacity, something that we associate with pride. Or the opposite,

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When faced with an attack by someone more powerful, we protect ourselves and hide, something that we associate with shame. Opening our eyes wide increases our field of vision and we do it when we are in danger or something catches our attention. Thus, when we see a person open their

Eyes wide, we can interpret their emotions. Something curious is that studies in isolated cultures have shown that, although facial expressions are shared, surprise and fear can be confused. It is very clear that there is a deep relationship between our facial expressions and

Our emotions, it has even been seen that the expression influences the emotion: someone who intends to smile during an event will have a better time than someone with a neutral expression. Some emotions have a very clear utility; such as survival or

Reproduction. For example: fear keeps us from danger, and attraction… to procreate. In addition, understanding the emotions of other animals and humans allows us to know if they are angry and we have to get away or if they want our company. But human beings have made

A mess of emotions; To the 6 basic emotions that Paul Ekman proposed and that may sound familiar to you: joy, disgust, surprise, sadness, anger and fear, we must add all the emotions that are produced by combining them in different proportions and intensities: Ekman recently added the aesthetic appreciation, empathic pain and nostalgia,

But there is also jealousy, shame, pride, resentment, affection, compassion and dozens more. For his part, psychologist Robert Plutchik (USA) proposed other basic emotions and designed this wheel to classify them. What is complex is not only identifying them, but understanding them. For example, fear, which is a basic emotion, has two pathways,

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One fast and one slow. The rapid is old and carries the information directly from the thalamus to the amygdala and triggers an automatic response. The slow one evolved more recently and carries information from the thalamus to sensory areas of the cortex and to the frontal cortex and from there to

The amygdala, this slow response gives us time to assess the stimulus and reduces or magnifies fear. But complex emotions do not have such a defined path, although they can be related to certain areas and in general it has been seen that, although complex emotions, like the basic ones,

Originate in lower areas of the brain, they are related to parts of the brain. that evolved more recently as the neocortex or the frontal cortex. This means that many of the emotional responses are regulated by cognitive areas of our brain.

It’s funny how we develop complex emotions growing up. During the first year of life we ​​show basic emotions such as fear, sadness and happiness, then anger, disgust and surprise, but to develop complex emotions the development of self-reflection and

Self-evaluation is needed, which is why it is until after twelve months and almost at At the same time that we begin to recognize ourselves in a mirror, we begin to recognize the emotions of others and experience more complex emotions, such as jealousy, gratitude, shame, or pride.

And what are they for? surely we would be happier with just a couple of emotions. In addition , most complex emotions do not have a specific facial expression and it is not so easy to identify them in others. Basic emotions such as fear or happiness

Were more than enough to survive, but some authors suggest that, as societies became more complex, emotions evolved to solve a wide range of complex problems such as hierarchies, sexual consummation, reputation. , moral punishments, parenting and altruism. An example of this is love, because although

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Different cultures show it in different ways, its function is the same: to commit individuals to long-term cooperation, something very important considering how fragile babies are. and how slow its development is. Complex emotions allow the existence of morality and social norms that allow us to live in large societies.

On the other hand, if we consider that the most basic goal of any species is its preservation, the most successful way to achieve it is with a system that cares A LOT about survival; able to learn from the past, act quickly on present threats and imagine the future.

We tend to think that cognitive development was what allowed us to get to where we are today, but we forget that the development of emotions contributed a lot to our awareness of our own life and survival. Just as cognition and emotions developed together, language also contributed to the evolution of

Emotions, we were no longer capable of just worrying, but communicating our concerns and experiences to others. Emotions play a fundamental role in our perception, way of thinking, decision making, and social behavior. They arose as a product of our development, environment, and social interactions. And although

Sometimes our emotions overwhelm us so much that we don’t even understand ourselves, that is proof that what we are experiencing is challenging, enigmatic and disconcerting, and our complex emotions allow us to navigate what we are experiencing. Curiously! We send an emotional greeting to all the patrons who make CuriosaMente possible,

Especially: Alex Najera, Antonio Rocha, Arlent Gomez, Arturo Aleé, Asdrubal Valladares, Axel Kim ROSAS, Carlos Rico, César Cuevas, Cesar Martinelli, Cheba Walter, Cisoji, Conde Jícama, Cristian Villamil, Daniel Guerrero, Daniel Larrea, DanielStudios, Deryl Florez, Edgar Aguilar, Edgar Cruz, Eduard Queraltó, Elizabeth Plascencia, Esaú Bojórquez, Francisco Tejeda,

Jamil, Jean Venegas, José Davila, Karen Molina, Marco Islas , Nancy Serrano, Paulo Reynaldo, Prof. Mitsy González, Sara Vargas, Manuel Moreno and Von Tiger.

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