Question about neuroscience and psychology

  • #1

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<Mentor: moved to Biology>>
Summary:: Hi, this is just a random neurological/psychology question that I had. Does anyone know if the hypothalamus plays a role in evaluating emotional stimuli? Or does the cerebral cortex play this role? I am not sure which one is correct, but only one of these is apparently the correct choice.

Hi, this is just a random neurological/psychology question that I had. Does anyone know if the hypothalamus plays a role in evaluating emotional stimuli? Or does the cerebral cortex play this role? I am not sure which one is correct, but apparently only one of these is the correct choice.
 
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  • #2
phinds
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What research have you done so far? What have you found out?
 
  • #3
The hypothalamus is involved in emotional response and threat-detection, but I am not sure what the cerebral cortex would play in this role.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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Welcome to the PF. :smile:
I am not sure which one is correct, but apparently only one of these is the correct choice.
Sounds like a schoolwork question, so I'll move the thread to the schoolwork forums for you.

Can you post links to the reading you've been doing on this question? That will help us a lot in guiding you toward the right answer(s). Thanks.
 
  • #5
I found these 2 sources to provide the most direct descriptions:
https://courses.lumenlearning.com/teachereducationx92x1/chapter/cerebral-cortex/
http://www.indiana.edu/~p1013447/dictionary/hypothal.htm

They say that the hypothalamus is involved in expressing emotional responses, and that the cerebral cortex is the "ultimate control and information-processing center in the brain". But which description would be more similar to "evaluating emotional stimuli"...hmmm:confused:
 
  • #6
atyy
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Is this really a 2 alternatives choose only one question?

What is the full question, and where is it from?

If pressed, I'd guess cortex, because of the "evaluating" in the question.
 
  • #7
Well there are four possible answer choices, but only these 2 sounded plausible. The full answer choices are:
  • basal ganglia
  • hypothalamus
  • cerebral cortex
  • immune system
The full question is just "What structure plays a role in evaluating emotional stimuli"
 
  • #8
jim mcnamara
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It is not a single part of the brain. The answer is longer than we usually like to quote here so:
https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/5-ways-your-brain-influences-your-emotions3.htm.

Emotional stimuli are responses to levels of various neurotransmitters and are often manifest physically as hormone excretion, example: adrenaline.

The discussion cites external sources, so it is at least verifiable. And notice that the brain creates physical responses, generally not the other way around.

Example: Completely darkened classroom, after a minute play a ~30 second tape of lions and hyenas fighting over a carcass. In the dark. A colleague of mine thought it was instructive to use this to demonstrate the concept. Some students had problems to say the least. We asked her to stop doing it. She did. She contended that the fear generated had a hard-wired component since most of the students had never heard those sounds before.
 
  • #9
Well, for the sake of this question, there is a single answer choice that would be preferred or considered the most appropriate answer. The other 3 are incorrect for the sake of this question.
 
  • #10
jim mcnamara
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Limbic system? Try the hypothalamus, it processes memory and is sort of a coordinating center.

If this is a school question it appears to me to be less than clear. Sorry. It does not seem like a random question, either.
 
  • #11
jim mcnamara
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It has to be the hypothalamus since it is the only member of the limbic system in your strange list.
 
  • #12
Laroxe
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I think if the question is about evaluation of an emotional stimulus/response I'd go for the cortex. There are lots of areas potentially involved in processing emotion but evaluation implies complex processing.
Its the sort of question that takes us back to phrenology and the localisation of functions.
 
  • #13
Yes, I think cortex is correct as well. I did more research online, and found research studies that cite cerebral activity but no mention of hypothalamic activation.
 

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