NetLogo User Community Models
(back to the NetLogo User Community Models)
Emotion & Motivation
by Derek A. Rush
EMOTION & MOTIVATION is the third and final model of a series that began with SELF-AWARENESS and continued with IMAGINATION.
"Even insects express anger, terror, jealousy, and love by their stridulation."
The Expression Of The Emotions In Man and Animals by Charles Darwin.1872
A brain is subject to the long term changes of evolution and the lottery of conception, also it grows, learns responses and is reconfigured many times during its lifetime. Life is essentially a copying process in which evolution, the optimistic empiricist, proceeds by copying whatever survives. This includes instinctive reponses to enable a
creature's survival. Part of a response is the setting of the emotional condition of a creature and thereby its MOTIVATION. Similarly and most importantly, a ceature's brain records emotional data in learned responses and memories throughout life.
Emotion is multifarious with Anger, Fear, Sadness and Enjoyment, considered as primary
and frustration, elation, guilt, jealousy, excitement, confusion, nervousness, hatred, distress, envy, affection, sympathy, joy, infatuation, resentment, generosity, pride, anxiousness and many more variations or mixtures of the primaries; but all are words that describe a condition leading to a degree of arousal, the motivation of the brain. A creature's body and brain are interdependent with communication by neuronal links and chemical messengers. Emotion uses messengers to bring the body's heartbeat, muscles and breathing, also the brain's cells and sensors, to a readiness for whatever response, including physical action, display and communication is likely to be required. This state of readiness produces the emotional 'feelings' in the body; and only a few messengers, in combination, are required to cover the range of emotions.
Apart from body maintenance some of the inputs to a brain are: body motion, impacts
and pain, plus sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. Automatically, inputs are first compared with instinctive response templets in case a survival type rapid response is required and if not responses will be arrived at by comparing inputs with memories plus some degree of processing. To compare requires a brain to have the ability to PERCEIVE the salient characteristics at least of the information presented and this fundamental ability is shown by creatures known not to possess the processing capability of humans. It can be that PERCEPTION in all creatures works with less than perfect representations not unlike the memories of human experience. It may be further concluded that MEMORIES are stored PERCEPTS and thinking by a human brain is a process similar to the ability shown by other creatures but extended in scale and content by additional processing power. If PERCEPTION enables a human brain's thinking process, then thoughts are a "desktop" of PERCEPTS, a muted rehearsal for what might be an action, whilst EMOTION data stored with the PERCEPTS sets the MOTIVATION for the thinking and the action if any. Also a brain does not need inputs from outside or inside the body to motivate thinking, if not in coma, it will be sufficiently stimulated by urges. Day or night dreaming are examples, from many.
DISPLAY & COMMUNICATION
Creatures evolved with urges that assist survival and these include DISPLAY and COMMUNICATION. Instinctive responses often include emotional DISPLAY by a creature, audible as well as visible, both being very useful in courting and conflict. Also it makes possible deliberate COMMUNICATION a distinguishing sign of self-awareness and a necessity for the practice of family, group and community life. Human beings have the physiology for spoken language plus the manipulative skills for writing which through shared human knowledge have extended their abilities far beyond the apparent potential of their brain's processing power.
CONSCIOUSNESS & 'I'
Philosophers and others have debated human 'consciousness' and sought a location for the human ‘I’. Some of their conjectures placed the seat of 'consciousness' and the location of ‘I’ away from the brain in a ‘mind’ that had no physical form. However, this model and analysis of human experience suggests that consciousness is the brain perceiving whatever is being sensed, recalled or processed, and is or could be acted upon or communicated about the emotion that is motivating the brain; and 'feel' of a conscious experince results from the brain and body state produced by the messengers of emotion. It is common experience that humans are not always conscious of their brain's perceptions, decision taking and action initiation, the quick response required for survival responses is an example; also tests with humans are reported as showing that electrical activity in a brains physical action area can begin 1/4 second before the person is aware of their intention to act.
This leads to the conclusions, that environment and fortune aside A CREATURE OR HUMAN IS WHAT ITS BRAIN MAKES IT; there is NO SEPARATE MYSTERIOUS MIND, NOR AN 'I', AND CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE BRAIN'S PERCEPTION OF ITS MOTIVATION.
FURTHER READING (The two previous NetLogo Models in this series were entitled SELF-AWARENESS and IMAGINATION)
FR. 1 The Expression Of The Emotions In Man and Animals by Charles Darwin.1872.
(The quotation given above is from Chapter 14, Concluding Remarks and Summary.)
FR. 2 The Living Brain by W.Grey Walter. Duckworth, London, 1953.
FR. 3 Mapping The Mind by Rita Carter. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1998.
FR. 4 Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman. Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 1996.
FR. 5 The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1998.
FR. 6 Phantoms In The Brain-Human Nature And The Architecture Of The Mind by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee. Fourth Estate, London 1998.
FR. 7 The Human Computer by Mark Jeffery. Little, Brown and Company, London, 1999.
FR. 8 Conciousness-How Matter Becomes Imagination by Gerald M. Edelman and G.Tononi.
Penguin London, 2000.(In the USA as A Universe of Conciousness. Perseus.)
FR. 9 How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker. Penguin, London.
(Also in the USA, W.W.Norton 1997)
FR.10 An Anatomy of Thought, The origin and machinery of the mind by Ian Glynn. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1999.
FR.11 The Private Life Of The Brain by Susan Greenfield. Penguin, 2000.
FR.12 For information on Verhulst's model.FRACTALS Images of Chaos, by Hans Lauwerier. Penguin & Princeton Univ'Press 1991.
The author Derek Rush may be contacted at: <firstname.lastname@example.org> March 2005.