Endocrine glands and emotions

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Main Question or Discussion Point

How big is the contribution of endocrine glands to emotions? What if we only have brain and no endocrine glands.. what emotions remain?
 

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  • #2
256bits
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How big is the contribution of endocrine glands to emotions? What if we only have brain and no endocrine glands.. what emotions remain?
Rather than answer that directly - not sure if there is a direct answer - I'll ask you some ponderings:
What secretions are from the endocrine glands?
What effect upon the body, organs, or cells do these secretions have?
What triggers the glands to produce secretions into the blood stream?
Are there long term affects as well as short term?
What other questions could you ask yourself, to solve the inquiry?

Just wondering the level of research you yourself have on the subject, say for example, high or low levels of testosterone.
I think a discussion could become quite involved beyond first level biology.
 
  • #3
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Rather than answer that directly - not sure if there is a direct answer - I'll ask you some ponderings:
What secretions are from the endocrine glands?
What effect upon the body, organs, or cells do these secretions have?
What triggers the glands to produce secretions into the blood stream?
Are there long term affects as well as short term?
What other questions could you ask yourself, to solve the inquiry?

Just wondering the level of research you yourself have on the subject, say for example, high or low levels of testosterone.
I think a discussion could become quite involved beyond first level biology.
Besides Adrenalin, testosterone, estrogen, stomach acidity, hypothalamo-pituitary axis secretions.. what else are there...

most importantly.. do you know of latest research what really triggers them or maps (graphics illustrations, url, etc.) of some kind of the interactions between brain, endocrine glands, bloodstream secretions, nervous system and the mind?

It's ok if the discussion could be maximum multidisciplinary advanced. But for discussion sake (to avoid too broad topic).. perhaps we could just address "What triggers the glands to produce secretions into the blood stream?"....
 
  • #4
256bits
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Besides Adrenalin, testosterone, estrogen, stomach acidity, hypothalamo-pituitary axis secretions.. what else are there...

most importantly.. do you know of latest research what really triggers them or maps (graphics illustrations, url, etc.) of some kind of the interactions between brain, endocrine glands, bloodstream secretions, nervous system and the mind?

It's ok if the discussion could be maximum multidisciplinary advanced. But for discussion sake (to avoid too broad topic).. perhaps we could just address "What triggers the glands to produce secretions into the blood stream?"....
Good response.
The bio people at PF will appreciate the more expliciticity , if that is a word.
I think we should wait and to see and appreciate in return what they have to say.
 
  • #5
jim mcnamara
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Hmm. Endocrinology. So while this is both an interesting and a logical question, the answers are not simple, plus not all are not clearly understood.

Hormones come from many tissues, not just endocrine glands. Exposure of sunlight on skin produces a hormone precursor, which becomes a hormone that we Vitamin D. FWIW. And levels of Vitamin D can effect cognitive changes in some humans. Maybe this could fall into the 'emotion' pile of ideas.

This is the best answer I can give you:
Consider an idyllic quiet pond, that reflects blue sky and clouds, like a mirror. A kid standing next to you lobs a rock into the center of the pond. In a short while every part of the once glassy surface is roiled with waves. The rock is a point stimulus, okay? In terms of hormonal response, biochemical "waves" or perturbations may occur with a simple point stimulus. The pond analogy. A single hormone change can be like the rock in the pond effect.

Consider that your question does not always have a one to one answer for most things hormonal. Text books give a few examples like the fight-or-flight response. But other hormones are at play even there.

So let's not belabor a bunch of anecdotal incidents and claim they explain hormonal action. In general endocrine glands are derived from the same tissue as our nervous system. And our brain has an 'express route' to some of those glands. There are also molecules inside the brain that regulate emotions. Brain hormones if you like. You probably have heard of serotonin for example.

Best choice for inquiring minds:
Nelson and Kriegsfeld 'Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology' which is exactly what you are asking for. Most college libraries will have a copy, the fourth edition is the current, best one. And AFAIK there is no useful comprehensive list of all hormones and their interactions.

Pop Science version: Sapolsky, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" I know if I were a zebra and had lions waiting around my drinking hole, I would certainly get ulcers....
 
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  • #6
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Hmm. Endocrinology. So while this is both an interesting and a logical question, the answers are not simple, plus not all are not clearly understood.

Hormones come from many tissues, not just endocrine glands. Exposure of sunlight on skin produces a hormone precursor, which becomes a hormone that we Vitamin D. FWIW. And levels of Vitamin D can effect cognitive changes in some humans. Maybe this could fall into the 'emotion' pile of ideas.

This is the best answer I can give you:
Consider an idyllic quiet pond, that reflects blue sky and clouds, like a mirror. A kid standing next to you lobs a rock into the center of the pond. In a short while every part of the once glassy surface is roiled with waves. The rock is a point stimulus, okay? In terms of hormonal response, biochemical "waves" or perturbations may occur with a simple point stimulus. The pond analogy. A single hormone change can be like the rock in the pond effect.

Consider that your question does not always have a one to one answer for most things hormonal. Text books give a few examples like the fight-or-flight response. But other hormones are at play even there.

So let's not belabor a bunch of anecdotal incidents and claim they explain hormonal action. In general endocrine glands are derived from the same tissue as our nervous system. And our brain has an 'express route' to some of those glands. There are also molecules inside the brain that regulate emotions. Brain hormones if you like. You probably have heard of serotonin for example.

Best choice for inquiring minds:
Nelson and Kriegsfeld 'Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology' which is exactly what you are asking for. Most college libraries will have a copy, the fourth edition is the current, best one. And AFAIK there is no useful comprehensive list of all hormones and their interactions.

Pop Science version: Sapolsky, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" I know if I were a zebra and had lions waiting around my drinking hole, I would certainly get ulcers....
If you will look at the table of contents of "Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology".. the contents are just typical:

  • 1. The Study of Behavioral Endocrinology
    2. The Endocrine System
    3. Sex Differences in Behavior: Sex Determination and Differentiation
    4. Sex Differences in Behavior: Animal Models and Humans
    5. Male Reproductive Behavior
    6. Female Reproductive Behavior
    7. Parental Behavior
    8. Hormones and Social Behavior
    9. Homeostasis and Behavior
    10. Biological Rhythms
    11. Stress
    12. Learning and Memory
    13. Hormones and Affective Disorders

  • I'm just interested in emotions as it pertains to stress. And buying the $116 book may not be worth it. I don't have access to any library.

  • From memory.. do you know what endocrine glands and secretions are involved in negative emotions that can affect the stomach and especially what triggers them? This is a very common ills in our modern society.

  • I'm specifically interested in the unknowns that are not yet understood. And they are?
 
  • #7
jim mcnamara
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No, I do not know of a specific connection like you mentioned. I think my answer may have confused you.
This google searches
NIH: hormones that affect the digestive tract
NIH: hormones and gastrointestinal problems
Return lots of hits. See what you can understand.

Especially note the ones that discuss IBS, stomach acid, or dyspepsia (fancy name for stomach pain) or ulcers. You do know about Helicobacter pylorii and ulcers, right? And colon problems or symptoms of pancreatitis are easily mistaken for a stomach problem.

It also sounds to me like you or someone close to you has a stomach disorder that is triggered by stress or other disease processes. If you have not seen a health professional the symptoms you mention could easily mask the true cause, something that needs medical attention, right now.

Why? An example: long term Helicobacter infection is a cause of stomach cancer as well as a primary cause of ulcers. Ulcers hurt and are worse under stress.

Get help. Do not rely on PF or me. We cannot provide medical advice. I am not a physician.
 
  • #8
Pythagorean
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jtlz said:
How big is the contribution of endocrine glands to emotions?
In what sense? Endocrine glands are ways to regulate neural populations in a targeted way. They are, essentially, part of a control system. Emotions are something we experience that pertains to different states, presumably, in the electrical activity of neural populations - which is often reciprocally coupled to these control systems (i.e. the electrical activity of certain neural populations can influence endocrine glands which can alter the electrical properties of neurons.) There are many other chemical-based relationships between neurons and other systems.

But the whole purpose of this forest of control and messaging systems is ultimately to survive and reproduce; the largest contribution of emotion, in my view, is the shape of the external world that it functionally responds to.

"What triggers the glands to produce secretions into the blood stream?"....
Endocrine system, in general, can be triggered by: neural activity, other hormonal systems, and the immune systems. As it pertains to emotions though, it's typically a response to external stimuli - thus, neural activity. However, different developmental periods in a life can correspond to different hormonal programs that will cause different feedback loops with neural activity (for example, sexual maturity and mating behavior).
 
  • #9
107
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No, I do not know of a specific connection like you mentioned. I think my answer may have confused you.
This google searches

Return lots of hits. See what you can understand.

Especially note the ones that discuss IBS, stomach acid, or dyspepsia (fancy name for stomach pain) or ulcers. You do know about Helicobacter pylorii and ulcers, right? And colon problems or symptoms of pancreatitis are easily mistaken for a stomach problem.

It also sounds to me like you or someone close to you has a stomach disorder that is triggered by stress or other disease processes. If you have not seen a health professional the symptoms you mention could easily mask the true cause, something that needs medical attention, right now.

Why? An example: long term Helicobacter infection is a cause of stomach cancer as well as a primary cause of ulcers. Ulcers hurt and are worse under stress.

Get help. Do not rely on PF or me. We cannot provide medical advice. I am not a physician.
No, no no. I don't have stomach problem. I'm just researching the mechanism of emotional resonances that occurs in mobs behavior, mass protests, etc. Remember the Syrian tragedy was triggered by this. If human organism is independent.. even the mirror neutrons won't produce such intense emotion or feelings. There is another pathway that can produce it that links the emotions of humans. Have you heard of the quantum biology theories of Umezawa, Giuseppe Vitiello, and Freeman?
 
  • #10
jim mcnamara
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Fractals and brain waves? Example: https://arxiv.org/pdf/0906.0564.pdf

Hmm. This is on the fringe of science, that paper is more of a review of fractal math with a view toward something else. There was some movement in the field of Ecology like this, too, during the 1990's.

What you are asking is a straight biochemistry question. Not fractals, for example. I punt.
 
  • #11
berkeman
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Thread closed for a bit for Moderation...
 
  • #12
berkeman
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@jtlz -- This thread will stay closed for now. If you end up with specific questions about the references that you have been provided, please send me a message (Click on my avatar and "Start a Conversation") to see if we can re-open the thread with those questions about the material in the references. Thanks.
 

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