December 2, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my twenty-sixth response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” by J. Panksepp (2011). I will continue to copy large pieces of this paper as a way to introduce behaviorist colleagues to this researcher’s excellent work.
“As already noted, that overused concept of “reinforcement”—a presently very mysterious process of the brain—may simply turn out to be a shorthand way of talking about how brain affective networks promote learning.” His research shows that he is correct. Moreover, reinforcement is delivered by our way of talking. This is how parents, teachers or therapists promote learning. Reinforcement is given by means of Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB), but punishment is delivered by means of Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB). This effects our brains.
“One can easily envision that, perhaps through neuropsychological UCR and UCS based “attractor landscapes”—which may help sensitize glutamatergic channels from temporally associated conditioned stimuli (CSs)—new conditioned response (CR) pathways are opened up to brain emotional operating systems (which originally engendered the affective attractor neurodynamics in the first place).” This can be interpreted in terms of how our way of talking determines the working of our brains.
“This potential shortsightedness, of not recognizing the role of UCR systems (e.g. the FEAR circuitry) in the establishment of conditioning, may arise from the fact that most behavioral investigators have not envisioned that the emotional UCR generating systems of the brain can also generate emotional feelings. It is traditional to believe that only the UCS systems might have psychological attributes. It requires a shift in perspective to consider that certain UCR systems, such as the primary-process emotional circuits, can also have psychological properties.” The shift in perspective can only be achieved once we discriminate NVB and SVB and decrease NVB and increase SVB.