The Physiology of JOY - Part One



The positive emotions of joy depend on physical health



The Physiology of Joy
Part One





The Limbic System 

The limbic system is the emotional and motivational brain where mostly unconscious value judgements are made, where the memory begins; and when emotion and memory functions are combined, mark behavior with positive and negative feelings. 

The limbic system plays a role in salience (the contrasting features that heighten sensory data), spontaneity, and creativity.







The limbic system is a dopamine-rich, inner set of brain structures and is linked to the pituitary gland to regulate and control many of the body's functions, like circadian rhythms, and homeostasis - making sure your body runs smoothly; body temperature, appetite, thirst, and bodily urges.

The limbic system also plays a role in autonomic nervous system (ANS) body functions that operate without conscious control (involuntary), like heart and breathing rates, blood pressure, digestion, and metabolismThe ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system and it also controls some of the muscles within the body in voluntary, and conscious motor function.

The limbic system is THE relay station in the brain. All incoming sensory signals: auditory, visual, olfactory, somatosensory (from skin and internal organs), pass through the limbic system to other parts of the brain, for processing.

The cognitive functions of the cerebral cortex depend on the sensory and emotional information supplied by the limbic system; cognition depends on the acquisition and retention of memories, in which the limbic system is involved. 

The boundaries of the limbic system have been redefined because of advances in neuroscience. Therefore, while it is true that limbic structures are more closely related to emotion, and is a part of an evolutionary model that is useful for psychological study of human behavioural development; in neuroscience, the brain is more and more viewed as a functionally integrated whole.





Coming Next:
  • The Physiology of Joy Part Two and Three
  • Part Four: The Psychology of Joy
  • What is Joy?
    • Neurochemistry: Happy Hormones 
      • Tears of Joy
      • Is Joy an Extraverted Emotion?
      • Vulnerability
      • Emotional Intelligence
      • Affective Neuroscience 
      • The Next Evolutionary Stage For Humans Is Already In Progress
      • Basic Health Habits and Joy
      • A Practical Guide to Joy


      DO YOU KNOW?
      • Neurogenesis
      • Cortical Re-Mapping (Neuroplasticity )
      • How Storytelling Affects The Brain
      • Daydreaming
      • Mindfulness Meditation
      • Dopaminergic Society
      • And more...













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