Emotion and Cognition interdependent, is all information? #cck11


Stephen Downes stresses the differences between emotion and cognition? Or does information and emotion flow in the same networks? (because emotion=information)

Downes (oct 5 2006) argues, Groups meet our need to belong and to survive, while networks meet our need to connect and learn and to know. In a group, passion drowns out reason, in a network, reason drowns out passion. In places where passion and emotion should not prevail— when building bridges, say, or launching space shuttles—groups should not prevail. In places where passion should prevail and is even an asset—in team sports, in family bonding—groups should prevail.

I found: “The integration of cognition and emotions in meaning-making is important. Thinking and emotions influence each other. A theory of learning that only considers one dimension excludes a large part of how learning happens.” (http://connectivism.ca/about.html)

Other valuable sources include (Damasio, 1994; LeDoux, 1996; Damasio, 1999; Dolan, 2003; Rolls, 2005; Phelps, 2006). A key conclusion from this review and from other current discussions of the relationship between cognition and emotion is that it is probably counterproductive to try to separate them. Instead, current thinking emphasizes their interdependence in ways that challenge a simple division of labor into separate cognitive and emotional domains. In particular, in the context of the brain, the general dichotomization alluded to above in terms of cortical-cognitive and subcortical-emotional brain areas is now viewed as largely simplified and breaks down rather quickly when more in-depth analyses are carried out; e.g., (Pessoa, 2008). (source http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Cognition_and_emotion

Also on this subject: http://www.indiana.edu/~lceiub/research.html

So this is still an open question, is emotion and feeling a kind of information?


2 thoughts on “Emotion and Cognition interdependent, is all information? #cck11

  1. Can’t imaging why emotion or feeling wouldn’t be a kind of information. How would humans have survived to evolve without being able to process signals of threat, pleasure, connection, etc? Say you come around the corner and in front of you are 5 guys with sharp sticks who turn to smile at you. Clearly they are glad to see you and are sending out a message that varies by whether they are a group of your pals or pals of your deadliest enemy. Surely your understanding and subsequent response involves some element of emotion?

    Frans De Waal
    “Our Inner Ape” 2005
    “Mutual dependence is key. Human societies are support systems within which weakness does not automatically spell death….During many life stages, especially when we are young and old, but also in between, we find ourselves in the caring hands of others. We are inherently needy. So why do Western religion and philosophy pay so much attention to the soul than the body? They depict us as cerebral, rational, and in charge of our destinies; never sick, hungry, or lusty. That humans have bodies and emotions is acknowledged only as a weakness.” (p 187)

    Maybe we don’t think we need this aspect of ourselves to learn? That learning is now simply the act of going to the net and finding the right answer (there are no longer any mysteries, nothing to figure out, everything has been answered and posted–your challenge is to find it, before someone else, that’s how we’ll know how smart we are). Hunting and gathering reduced to keyboard skills. Hard to identify any use for emotional thinking here.


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