Hopefully this title attracted some attention. Haven't posted in a while, but this really intrigued me in my psychology & physiology of emotion course so yeah.
Been learning about various theories of emotion - one in particular right now we are talking about is William James' and his belief that physiological reactions come BEFORE the emotion, and that really, the bodily responses ARE the emotions themselves. In other words, instead of bear --> fear --> heart racing, running... it would be bear --> heart racing, running --> fear. Change of sequence that seems counterintuitive, but I don't really wanna get into was he right/wrong... it seems obvious to me there is both a cognitive, physiological, and evolutionary aspect to emotions.
What I really want to get at is this little gem that made me think about Socionics: So someone in '66 allegedly did a study of neck (highest) vs. lower spinal cord lesions. This would mean more or less separation of the brain from the body. The higher the lesions would go, the less visceral (ANS) feedback would be delivered to the CNS (spinal cord + brain). Therefore, the prediction was that people with higher lesions would experience LESS intense emotions (trying to support James' theory). What they found was that yes, patients described less intense emotions, more MOODS + SENTIMENTS vs. that "rush" of physical feeling that comes on strong.
Simply put, it seemed that these people lost the immediate "hot" nature of some emotions but still had the "cool" aspects. Their emotions were explained in a very COGNITIVE way, whereas normal people explained their emotions more "embodied".
SO: I got to wondering... could this phenomena also exist along the more normal continuum of things and explain why some people don't seem to be as emotional as others? Could people that have more "intense" and "passionate"/"irrational" emotions (AKA ME!!!) have some sort ofincreased connection/sensitivity to their physical bodies, such that it may over-ride or cancel out "cognitive" aspects?
Now this may get a little dumb, but obviously I'm also thinking about how this may apply to personality types - strong/valued and especially vs. , , , . I think of myself as having extremely valued/strong and I not only am highly involved and adore physical activity, etc, but I have suuuuch an intensity of "hot" emotion on a daily basis that can only be described as coming from within my body. Do any of experience this? Especially when I'm enraged, it's coming from within my gut. I can't imagine anger feeling any other way. I'm wondering if someone like an INTj would feel anger in a more cognitive sense, almost unable to subjectively feel what I feel.
AND.. how does this all relate to the physical body - brain connection? I hope this makes some sense to y'all.... Any thoughts appreciated!