Feelings and the body: The Jamesian perspective on autonomic specificity of emotion

  title={Feelings and the body: The Jamesian perspective on autonomic specificity of emotion},
  author={B. Friedman},
  journal={Biological Psychology},
  • B. Friedman
  • Published 2010
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Biological Psychology
"What is an emotion?" William James's seminal paper in Mind (1884) proposed the idea that physiological and behavioral responses precede subjective experience in emotions that are marked by "distinct bodily expression." This notion has broadly inspired the investigation of emotion-specific autonomic nervous system activity, a research topic with great longevity. The trajectory of this literature is traced through its major theoretical challenges from the Cannon-Bard, activation, and Schachter… Expand
Physiological feelings
Physiological feelings are examined from diverse perspectives including current and historical theories, evolution, neuroanatomy and physiology, development, regulatory processes, pathology and linguistics. Expand
The Feeling of Action Tendencies: On the Emotional Regulation of Goal-Directed Behavior
It is argued that feelings are grounded upon neural-dynamic representations (elevated and stable activation patterns) of action tendency, which amount to predictions updated by cognitive and bodily feedback in a given situation. Expand
Actually Embodied Emotions
This dissertation offers a theory of emotion called the primitivist theory. Emotions are defined as bodily caused affective states. It derives key principles from William James’s feeling theory ofExpand
The Psychophysiology of Emotions
Abstract The link between affective states and psychophysiological activity has been central to the study of behavior for well over a century. With his publication of The expression of the emotionsExpand
Redundancy analysis of autonomic and self-reported, responses to induced emotions
Redundancy analysis indicated that approximately 27-28% of the variance in self-reported affect could be explained by autonomic variables, and vice-versa, which indicates substantial coherence between feelings and physiology during the emotion inductions. Expand
The neural basis of one's own conscious and unconscious emotional states
In the framework proposed, emotion generation proceeds through a series of appraisal mechanisms - some of which appear to require more cognitively sophisticated computational processing than others - that ultimately trigger iterative adjustments to one's bodily state. Expand
Affective Incarnations: Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Challenge to Bodily Theories of Emotion
In this article, we outline and discuss Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s description of affective and emotional life as found in Phenomenology of Perception, including his portrayal of the affectiveExpand
Affect: Theory and Research
Affective experiences add palettes of colour to our life, and to a large extent determine who we really are or will become. This chapter is devoted to a discussion of the profound impact of affectExpand
Autonomic specificity in emotion: The induction method matters.
  • Jared J. McGinley, B. Friedman
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
  • 2017
Using multivariate pattern classification analysis, the evidence from the current study lends further support for autonomic specificity of emotion, but also highlights the role that the specific induction technique contributes to autonomic changes that accompany emotions in the laboratory. Expand
Felt Understanding: A View of Affective Intentionality
In this chapter I clarify the sense in which we can speak of an essentially affective mode of intentionality. I argue that this mode of openness to a world that, to put it in McDowellian terms, isExpand


The varieties of emotional experience: a meditation on James-Lange theory.
  • P. Lang
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Psychological review
  • 1994
The theory's origins in philosophical psychology are traced, differences in the thinking of James and Lange are considered, and Cannon's early critique and the resulting debate are assessed. Expand
Emotion and the autonomic nervous system: A prospectus for research on autonomic specificity.
The question of whether there are different patterns of autonomic nervous system responses for different emotions is examined. Relevant conceptual issues concerning both the nature of emotion and theExpand
It is now thirty years since Prof. William James and Professor Lange independently stated their theory of the mechanism of the emotions. This theory has never been satisfactorily proved orExpand
Cognitive, social, and physiological determinants of emotional state.
The problem of which cues, internal or external, permit a person to label and identify his own emotional state has been with us since the days that James (1890) first tendered his doctrine that "theExpand
Thoughts on the relations between emotion and cognition.
This paper argues that thought is a necessary condition of emotion. It therefore opposes the •stance taken by Zajonc, which reflects two widespread misunderstandings about what is meant by cognitiveExpand
The Emotions
WILLIAM JAMES and Carl Lange, investigating the problem of the emotions, independently and within a year, arrived at a very similar point of view with regard to the relation between the emotion asExpand
Affective neuroscience and psychophysiology: toward a synthesis.
The author's program of research on the neural substrates of emotion and affective style and their behavioral and peripheral biological correlates is reviewed with an emphasis on the role played by different sectors of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Expand
William James and emotion: is a century of fame worth a century of misunderstanding?
Three damaging scientific consequences of the mischaracterization of James's views were the nearly exclusive focus on bodily process, the reification of emotions as entities rather than processes, and the linear thinking produced by the concern with the sequence of affect, interpretation, and bodily response. Expand
What is emotion?
  • M. Cabanac
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Behavioural Processes
  • 2002
It is proposed here that emotion is any mental experience with high intensity and high hedonic content (pleasure/displeasure), as a follow-up to a definition of consciousness as a four-dimensional experience. Expand
The Schachter theory of emotion: two decades later.
The role of arousal in emotion has been overstated and the available data support at best a rather attenuated version of Schachter's theory—that is, that arousal feedback can have an intensifying effect on emotional states—and that this arousal-emotion relationship is mediated, in part, by causal attributions regarding the source of arousal. Expand