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Home Special Issues Assigning Meaning to Emotional Arousal and Experience
Assigning Meaning to Emotional Arousal and Experience
Title:      Assigning Meaning to Emotional Arousal and Experience
Categories:      Special Issues
JournalID:      IJIP201626
Editor:      Prof. Mukundan C. R.
ISSN:      2348-5396
Publisher:      RED'SHINE Publication. Inc
Publication date:      15 July 2016
Edition:      2016
Number of pages:      35
Language:      English
Rating:      5 
Picture:      cover
Description:     

About the Author:

Prof. C.R. Mukundan has been working in the area of Cognitive Neuroscience since 1964 and he set up the first cognitive electrophysiology laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India in 1975.  He conducted research in the area with a team of faculty and students from the Departments of Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology, Neurophysiology, and Neurosurgery.  They worked on EEG with computerized analyses, Evoked and Event Related Potential paradigms in schizophrenic patients, patients with alcohol dependence and patients with traumatic brain injury, etc. for the next 3 decades.  His latest experimental work was in the area of testing the EEG and ERP activation pattern in remembrance of experiences, and he succeeded in developing a technology, which came to be called Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature (BEOS) profiling. The patented technology has been since used as an aid for forensic investigation. Other than the original normative study, several hundreds of cases have been examined by the test and it has successfully helped the investigators to identify real perpetrators and also helped exoneration of innocent individuals.  The technology that he started trying out, when he was in NIMHANS, got the software developed by Axxonet Technology Solutions in Bangalore.    The technique helps to test different possible formulations and different roles played by the individuals suspected or accused to be involved in an act. The important advantage of the test is that it does not expect any behavioural or oral response from the individuals when they are expected to listen to set of verbal probes during the test.  Further the system presents the probes only if the subject is attentive.  The system automatically conducts extensive signal analyses to determine presence of sensory registration, semantic processing, accessing source memory, attentional shift, presence of imageries, and emotional responses using frequency and time domain analyses of EEG after determining their statistical significances.

He has been working on understanding cognitive processing methods and was one of the first few who reported on the sequential and simultaneous nature of signal inputs into the brain and their differential effects on the development of processing methods in the brain.  The neuropsychological tests that he developed in the early 1970s had shown that encoding in both visual and verbal tasks could be impaired in left frontal lesions. Similarly he had developed tests of working memory and used it as a sensitive test in frontal lobe lesion patients. The Brain Function Therapy system that he developed for computerized cognitive retraining has been since then, extensively used for cognitive training of children with learning disorders, ADHD, and patients with addiction and traumatic brain injury.

He assembled EEG amplifiers for his laboratory in the 1980s, and published the first research papers using computed EEG analysis, EP and ERP measures from India.  His work supported the notion of automatic initiation or neurogenesis of actions, which helped the postulation that action is automatically initiated when emotional arousal reaches a Critical Level of Potentiation. He suggested strict social conditioning as the only neurodevelopmental method and remedy for training in the control of emotional arousal in individuals, which would beneficially help the society, as individuals would learn to control themselves by blocking asocial behaviour.  He has been working on the role of emotion for a decade, though could come out with an explicit theory only now, which is considered an alternative to consciousness.

Since March 2013, he is working at Institute of Behavioural Science, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat as the Director and Emeritus Professor.  In this short duration he has established state of the art Neurocognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory at IBS. The lab consists of 32, 64 channels EEG and ERP systems, Neurofeedback systems, Polygraph and BEOS systems, and Brain Function Therapy for cognitive retraining programs. He started India’s first Neuropsychology and Forensic Psychology post graduate courses, which are flourishing under his guidance. He has organized various seminars, conferences and workshops in the area of Neuro and Forensic Psychology at IBS.  He is also conducting various training programs for Neuro/Forensic psychologists and police officers across the country at IBS. He has also established the Cognitive Neuroscience Society of India (CNSI) in 2014. He is the first President of the society. He has published more than 100 papers in peer reviewed journals. He has written three books in his areas of interest.

Assigning Meaning to Emotional Arousal and Experience

Nascent emotional arousal has been considered as the driving force or fuel of life for initiation and execution of actions and responses (Mukundan 2016). The nascent emotional arousal gets labelled through cognitive processing as positive or negative emotion, which may become pleasant or distressing to the individual.  However, it is now a regular therapeutic practice to consider such cognitive labelling, which produces psychological and physiological distresses, as erroneous, and to help individuals change the related cognitive processing so that the distress and its psychophysiological consequences are removed.  This clearly indicates that the primary emotional arousal is devoid of such effects and the article makes effort to examine the nascent state of emotional arousal. It is also proposed that several ancient practices like meditation, praying, singing and listening to devotional music, and dance movements, etc. may facilitate the creation and maintenance of such nascent emotional arousal, which gives opportunity to the individual not get dragged into personally gratifying or distressing cognitive processes, and conversion of nascent emotional arousal into gratifying, or distressing emotional experiences, which may further produce traumatic psychophysiological and behavioral effects. Such nascent emotional arousal has been proposed as alternative to the concept of consciousness, which is considered a semantic fallacy.  However, almost automatic cognitive self-appraisal of emotional state leads to recognition of emotional arousal with positive or negative valences, which may facilitate or inhibit individual’s performance capabilities.  Learning to recognize the nascent emotional arousal, which one may succeed in experiencing through the practice of meditation and other methods described above, may become a valuable self-enriching practice and experience for each human being.  Human brain alone appears to have the capability to entertain such nascent emotional arousal and capability to develop methods that facilitate a larger objective vision of the happenings, or delay the development of distressing cognitive appraisal, initiated by a sensory-motor experience.

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