Saturday, May 11, 2013
What specific brain structures are involved in motivation and emotion? What role do these structures play in motivation and emotion? Include examples to demonstrate your points.
The specific brain structures involved in motivation and emotion are the limbic system, which is made of four main structures, such as the regions of the limbic cortex, the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the septal area. These four structures form the connections between the limbic system, hypothalamus, cerebral cortex, and thalamus (Cherry, 2013). Limbic system structures are involved in many of an individual's motivations and emotions, specifically those that are related to survival (Cherry, 2013) The limbic system is key in the control of emotional responses, such as anger, fear, and emotions related to sexual behavior. Its functions include emotions, drives, and behaviors as well as the sense of smell, learning, and long-term memory (Cherry, 2013). The limbic system is also linked to the brain's pleasure center and the prefrontal cortex. Therefore, it is involved in feelings of pleasure that are related to an individual's survival, such as feelings of pleasure experienced from sex and eating (Cherry, 2013). The hypothalamus is also an emotional center, as in it controls molecules that make an individual feel unhappy, angry, or exhilarated. The cingulate gyrus, another structure of the limbic system is involved with sensory input that concerns emotions and the regulation of aggressive behavior (Cherry, 2013).
Cherry, K. (2013). About.com: Psychology. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/lindex/g/limbic-system.htm
Cherry, K. (2013). About.com: Psychology. Retrieved from http://biology.about.com/od/anatomy/a/aa042205a.htm