November 30, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
This is my twenty-fourth response to “The basic emotional circuits of mammalian brains: Do animals have affective lives?” Panksepp lists “key neuroanatomical and neurochemical factors that contribute to the construction of basic emotions in the mammalian brain.” He identifies positive emotions as LUST/Sexuality, PLAY/joy, CARE/nurturance and SEEKING/expectancy, motivation and negative emotions as RAGE/anger, FEAR/anxiety and PANIC/separation. These specific emotions are mediated by key brain areas. Research has been done!
Areas that mediate positive emotions are of course activated while we are engaged in Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB) and areas which mediate negative emotions are activated when we are engaged in Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB). I agree with Panksepp that without understanding “primary processes” we will not be able to make any sense of how the “secondary-process mechanisms of learning and memory, deeply unconscious brain processes, are regulated by more primal emotional systems and how tertiary-process substrates for various higher brain functions remain tethered to what came before.” However, unless this knowledge is taught by a SVB speaker, it will not do anybody any good.
Although anyone who knows about the SVB/NVB distinction will agree that Panksepp is, for the most part, a SVB speaker, as far as I know he never addresses this vital aspect of disseminating his work. In therapy it is evident that “the secondary and tertiary functions of the brain rely critically on unconditional networks that evolved earlier.” If the therapist is incapable of using his or her voice in such a way that he or she continuously produces SVB, he or she will not be able to address or discuss the ‘deeper’ issues mental health clients are struggling with. The absence of aversive stimulation, which makes SVB possible, is also absolutely needed for therapeutic interventions to be successful.