November 27, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my twenty-first response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” It is interesting that Panksepp, a neuroscientist, finds it important to write in his paper that “historically, ultra-conservative ways of thinking in science typically take a rather longer time to adjust to new realities.” What is do you think he referring to? He describes Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB), the kind of interaction in which the speaker isn’t sensitive to the listener and therefore can’t adjust to the present moment.
Although, due to scientific discoveries, our thinking about events in the world has changed over time, what hasn’t changed is our way of talking. We now know earthquakes are caused by plate tectonics, but we still don’t know anything about why we can’t live in peace with each other.
Science brought us new things and has changed our lives, but it didn’t produce a new way of talking which creates and maintains healthy and happy relationships. “In brief, the discovery of emotional networks in ancient subcortical brain regions that can mediate various feelings of ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ as monitored through behavioral choices grew steadily more robust from the early 1950s through the 1970s, with no major negations to this day.” Although we know which brain regions mediate Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB), the way of talking which in which we express feelings of goodness, and NVB, the way of talking in which we express feelings of badness, this doesn’t change anything.
Only if SVB increases and NVB decreases things will be changing for the better. Then we will be able to create the “various emotional situations” that will reliably evoke “diverse emotional vocalizations” in animals and human animals. We should be grateful to Panksepp for mapping these vocalizations to “specific brain circuits, which are not all that different from primitive emotional sounds made by humans in affectively intense situations.”