November 8, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my second response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” by Jaak Panksepp (2011). Each time we speak we express the primary emotions Panksepp refers to in his paper; we either stimulate positive emotions or negative emotions in each other. During the former, we, that is the speaker AND the listener, engage in Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB), but during the latter, we engage in Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB).
When we cannot acknowledge that the sound of our own voice always expresses our feelings, we can only pretend that we are not emotionally affected and this is what we repeatedly do when we engage in NVB. Panksepp explains that “Affective feelings come in several varieties, including sensory, homeostatic, and emotional (which I focus on here). Primary-process emotional feelings arise from ancient caudal and medial subcortical regions, and were among the first subjective experiences to exist on the face of the earth. Without them, higher forms of conscious “awareness” may not have emerged in primate brain evolution.” Did you get that? When we talk, we always feel something!
Unexpressed feelings result into unconscious behavior, but properly expressed emotions result into conscious behavior. However, as long as we don’t listen to how we sound while we speak, as long as we are in and affected by a threatening environment, we cannot accurately describe our feelings. Knowledge about primary-process emotional feelings will help us to finally completely express ourselves. “Because of homologous “instinctual” neural infrastructures, we can utilize animal brain research to reveal the nature of primary-process human affects.”