chapter  3
23 Pages

The Emotional Brain

ByPaula M. Niedenthal, François Ric

This chapter introduces the basics of brain anatomy and neuroscientific investigation. It refers different areas of the brain. The chapter reviews fundamental elements of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The nervous system is composed of a peripheral and a central branch. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system can be divided into the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems. Neurons, the central building blocks of the nervous system, communicate both electrically and chemically. Many substances have been identified that act as neurotransmitters and can be divided into two major classes: small molecule transmitters and neuroactive peptides. The chapter summarizes earlier models about emotions in the brain. Locationist approaches assume that specific areas of the brain are responsible for specific emotions. The right hemisphere hypothesis of emotion posits that the expression, perception, and experience of positive and negative emotions are predominantly carried out by the right hemisphere.