Asymmetries of brain activity
Nonetheless, “by focusing on the asymmetric brain activity of the frontal lobe that occurs when we experience emotions, there are two models that contradict the case of anger”, the researcher highlights.
The first model, 'of emotional valence', suggests that the left frontal region of the brain is involved in experiencing positive emotions, whilst the right is more related to negative emotions.
The second model, 'of motivational direction', shows that the left frontal region is involved in experiencing emotions related to closeness, whilst the right is associated with the emotions that provoke withdrawal.
The positive emotions, like happiness, are usually associated to a motivation of closeness, and the negative ones, like fear and sadness, are characterised by a motivation of withdrawal.
However, not all emotions behave in accordance with this connection. “The case of anger is unique because it is experienced as negative but, often, it evokes a motivation of closeness”, the expert explains.
“When experiencing anger, we have observed in our study an increase in right ear advantage, that indicates a greater activation of the left hemisphere, which supports the model of motivational direction”, Herrero points out.. In other words, when we get angry, our asymmetric cerebral response is measured by the motivation of closeness to the stimulus that causes us to be angry and not so much by the fact we consider this stimulus as negative: “Normally when we get angry we show a natural tendency to get closer to what made us angry to try to eliminate it”, he concludes.
Every emotion is unique
This is the first general study on emotions and more specifically on anger that examines all these different psychobiological parameters (cardiovascular, hormonal response and asymmetric activation response of the brain) in a single investigation to study the changes caused by the inducement of anger. In addition the results of the study are along the same lines as previous investigations and defend what has been noted by Darwin: that the emotions, in this case anger, are accompanied by unique and specific (psychobiological) patterns for each emotion.More