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By Antonio Damasio

A number one professional of the neurophysiology of feelings, Damasio indicates how our awareness arose out of the improvement of emotion. At its center human realization is cognizance of the sensation and experiencing self.

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During emotions, neurons located in the hypothalamus, basal forebrain, and brain stem release those chemical substances in several regions of the brain up above and, by so doing, temporarily transform the mode of working for many neural circuits. Typical consequences of the increase or decrease of release of such transmitters include the sense we have of the mind processes speeding up or slowing down, not to mention the sense of pleasantness or unpleasantness that pervades mental experience. Such sensing is part of our feeling of an emotion.

These fibers, which are distributed literally everywhere in the body, are evolutionarily old and are largely dedicated to carrying signals about internal body states, including those that will end up causing pain. They are called unmyelinated because they lack the insulating sheath known as myelin. Lightly myelinated fibers known as A-Ô fibers travel along with C-fibers and perform a similar role. ) Second, the heat destroyed several thousand skin cells, and the destruction released a number of chemical substances in the area.

First, the brain induces emotions from a remarkably small number of brain sites. Most of them are located below the cerebral cortex and are known as subcortical. The main subcortical sites are in the brain-stem region, hypothalamus, and basal forebrain. One example is the region known as periaqueductal gray (PAG), which is a major coordinator of emotional responses. '4 Another important subcortical site is the amygdala. The induction sites in the cerebral cortex, the cortical sites, include sectors of the anterior cingulate region and of the ventromedial prefrontal region.

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