November 10, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my fourth response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” by Jaak Panksepp (2011). As it is now possible to “neuro-scientifically understand primary emotional human feelings by studying animal behavior” it is apparent that our “affective feelings arise from the unconditioned emotional response systems of the brain.” Moreover, the seven emotional systems that Panksepp has identified determine how we sound while we speak.
Whether we express our positive or negative emotions, of course, sounds totally different. However, positive primary emotions such as CARE, PLAY, LUST, SEEKING and JOY and negative primary emotions such as RAGE, FEAR and PANIC produce remarkably similar sounds in animals as in humans. I propose that we call the expression of these positive emotions while we speak, Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB) and expression of negative emotions, Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB).
Panksepp’s work explains “how the brain generates affective feelings – the valenced phenomenal experiences (qualia) that come in desirable (positive) and undesirable (negative) forms and varieties.” I am interested in how these desirable or undesirable experiences set the stage for two mutually exclusive, different-sounding ways of talking.
Panksepp’s aim is to “understand the affective (subjective feeling) component of emotions through close and sensitive studies of the underlying brain mechanisms in other creatures”, but my goal is to TALK about and explore the difference between SVB and NVB and to accurately express and understand our human affective experiences.