The psychophysiology of
Samuel Ron and Noam Amir
• The theory of physiology -- science
• The interpretation
• The measurement
Autonomic nervous system involved in
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays a critical role in
emotion, producing visceral sensations that shape subjective
The ANS is life support of the body. It has a regulatory
:function. Processes involved in the function
), Maintenance of optimal “baseline” (i.e., homeostasis. 1
,Activation of bodily systems to support actions. 2
.Deactivation of bodily systems when no needed. 3
Emotional activation: 1) Autonomic
reactivity and 2) peripheral activation
:Autonomic reactivity) 1
• Emotions are psychologically-physiological
phenomena that represent adaptation to changing
• Psychologically, emotions alter attention, shift
behaviors and activate networks in memory.
• Physiologically, emotions organize the responses of
disparate biological systems (e.g., facial, muscular tone,
voice tone) and ANS activity for optimal effective
A typical activation starts with an external or
To evoke a response, a process takes place
that matches the prototype stimuli to the receptor
system (e.g., vocal, motor, autonomic).
Peripheral activation might evoke a feedback
that enhances the external or internal stimuli.
How is emotional expression
Do we “feel” emotional expression that we
express verbally? – Yes, we can.
Can we refer to the emotion that we “feel” and
express it verbally– Yes, we can.
Do physiological expressed emotions and verbal
expression correlate? – Not necessarily.
Why try to correlate physiological response and
- “Natural” interpretation,
- Compatibility in sense interpretation (hearing
Why interpret “emotion” mainly by auditory percept?
- Its easier.
• Is the emotional action such as facial
expression sufficient for producing subjective
emotional expression? Sufficient but not
• Does the face have the capacity to activate
the ANS component as well? Yes.
• Conclusions: The degree of autonomic
differentiation produced by voluntary facial
action might be equivalent to that produced by
initiating emotion in a more “conventional” way
via recalling emotional memories.
Language of subjective emotional
•How do we evaluate subjective emotion?
Exclusively in human language, self- report
1) The state of physiological arousal (e.g.,) will
be labeled by a subject in terms of available
2) By manipulating the cognitional states, we
can manipulate the feelings in diverse
The primary ingredients of our subjective
emotional experience are visceral and somatic; the
accuracy of our self report is linked to visceral and
The very language we use to talk about our
emotions is replete with metaphors that translate
emotional into the physiological response.
The key issue is to evaluate the association
between emotion and language.
Success depends on results
1. Environmental conditions (quite, comfortable
seat, light intensity, room temperature),
2. Eye conditions (open/closed),
3. Electrode placement,
4. Instructions to the subject,
5. Mental set.
There are at least two physiological states linked
to the same subjective emotional experience
:language but of different interpretation
1) The “participant”: subject takes part in the
experience and feels the emotional event.
Noticeable physiological response
2) The “observer”: subject sees himself on the
television taking part in the event.
Little or no physiological response.
Recalled emotion - auditory and
The study conducted at the TA University:
Recording time : 1 min/emotion.
Recalled emotion : anger, fear, sadness, joy
Physiol. Variables: EMG, GSR, Heart Rate,