Neurosociology pp 105-128 | Cite as

The Neuroscience of Emotion and Its Relation to Cognition



In recent years an appreciation for the emotional dimension of life has asserted itself in all of the major disciplines of the liberal arts. There is a good reason for this. While the dangers of passion are well known to all, this chapter will demonstrate neuroscience’s contributions toward making the case for the necessity of emotion for effective cognition. As Socrates implies above, cognition alone and by itself lacks the capacity to move us to action or to grant a critical component to understandings and “realizations” that only experience can give. While an emotionally distanced attitude may be essential to science, as Scheffler (1982) observed, even the notion of the un-emotional scientist is incomplete. One can be passionately devoted to objectivity. If the “unexamined life is not worth living” certainly experience without emotion is pathologically empty.


Facial Expression Brain Stem Limbic System Skin Conductance Skin Conductance Response 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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