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> Emotion/Voice/Motor Systems
post Sep 29, 2007, 05:41 AM
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I have been thinking a lot about the way emotions, posture, tone of voice and facial expression can be linked or not linked, at least expressively, despite or in addition to whether they are linked in the brain at a given moment.

Let me give you an example:

Someone cuts ahead of me in a line. I am an adult with a specific family and cultural background which influences my reactions and how these reactions are expressed and not expressed. In this case I get angry. But given my background - let's say upper class british, very controlling father - my anger comes out in a very neutral sounding suggestion that the person not cut in line. Perhaps I clench my jaw. There are other subtle cues that I am angry, my cheeks flush, etc. But overall my expression is minimal and my motor reactions are constrained or absent.

Another person in the same situation, with a different background, one that was vastly more expressive of emotions also speaks 'hey buddy,' voice tone clearly angry, he steps forward his facial expression is irritated, etc.

In this second instance we find less isometric tensions in the body. His motor responses are not resisted by other motor responses. He is generally more expressive.

It is very hard for me to formulate my question(s) here, but I am interested in what parts of the brain are involved and how they related to each other. Also, in the first instance how is the brain divided or how does it register/create the impulses of expression and resistance to that experession: what parts of the brain are doing this, or perhaps better worded, how does the brain manage this?

Or really anything that these two reaction patterns bring up for you in relation to the brain would be greatly appreciated.

I realize this may be a bit confused or vague. I am exploring the issue(s) and perhaps after some responses I can make it clearer exactly what I am looking for.

Thanks and thanks for your flexibility around my not yet clearly formulated questions.
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post Mar 24, 2010, 12:03 PM
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I have the same issue.
We are what is called "push-overs." I think it has more to do with our environment and upbringing than any specific and pre-existing condition.
I doubt there is a specific part(s) of the brain that is responsible for this. It's the whole brain that sees (the mentioned) scenario play out, and then based on a "path of least resistance" or previous experience, it plans to avoid confrontation.

For example, in the past (think waaay back) you may have confronted someone who did something to make you angry. As a result that person hurt you in some way, emotionally or physically through words or physical action.
Then in a later but similar situation, you decide to hold your anger in to avoid the pain that you recall from your previous experience. In this case there were no external, negative repercussions.
So, what it comes down to is, essentially, conditioning. Bad response= "Don't do that again..." Good/neutral response= "Better than experiencing pain again..."

The guy who always confronts people in situations like you mentioned is the kind of guy who either has never had negative repercussions as a result of his actions, or he has learned to "numb the pain," so to speak, experienced when confronting someone in that situation.

I didn't clearly understand what you were asking but I think I got the jist of it. Hope that helps.
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