6 The main types of emotions and their variations, from psychology

To understand how emotions work in the body, Frederick says we need to understand how they are filtered through the brain.

“The limbic system has been identified as the primary part of the brain that processes our emotional experiences. The brain has a specific mental filter, also known as the amygdala, through which stimulation is processed,” he explains.

Amigdala is designed to store sensitive memories from our previous experiences and use this information as a gauge to determine how we feel about current experiences. The amygdala then transmits relevant information to other parts of the brain, which secretes specific neurotransmitters and hormones based on the interpretation of that phenomenon.

“For example, if the amygdala processes an event as exciting or pleasurable, there will be a release of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, etc., which will affect how the body reacts to the event,” Frederick explains. “If the amygdala feels scary, embarrassing, annoying, disturbing, etc., it will release epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenaline, cortisol, which are responsible for our fight-or-flight response that is designed to keep us safe.”

Thus, emotion is perceived in the body as a result of how the brain processes an event and what neurotransmitters and hormones are released in the body in response to this interpretation.

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