TU10: The 7 Circuits of Emotion – What Animals Can Teach Us About Human Relating

by | Oct 11, 2016 | Brain Science, Emotional Intelligence, Episodes, Neuroscience, Relationships, Trauma

Show Notes

Jaak Panksepp has identified 7 universal, cross-species circuits of emotion that can be located deep within the brain reliably in primates with neocortex functioning – besides humans, this includes rats, mice, guinea pigs, cats and of course larger primates. These networks are not up in the higher cortex, so they don’t involve rational thought, they are in the hypothalamus and amygdala, the more basic security system of the mind.

The 7 Basic Circuits of Emotion:

SEEKING, PLAY, LUST, CARE – reward circuits

FEAR, PANIC/LOSS, RAGE – punishing circuits, most animals want to avoid these emotional reactions

Why This Matters in Relationships

Each circuit was discussed and the interaction of one circuit being activated turning on corresponding circuits of emotion in the other was highlighted. For example distress signals are activated when one is separated from their pack (PANIC/LOSS) turns on the CARE network, drawing others to them in with intent to protect and nurture. RAGE however, and this includes indignation and anger in humans, turns on the same circuit – anger begets anger.

What You Can Do

So for those wanting to be closer in their relationships, it is advised to get VULNERABLE, show your distress, feel your needs and you will get the love you are looking for naturally. However get angry about not getting attention and you will get defensiveness and blame. So manipulate your close relationships into nurturing you by squeaking and expressing genuine vulnerability, they won’t be able to resist coming toward you with their hearts open.

Get right with your squeak!! It’s in our most basic instincts and this works powerfully!

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