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Psychology

  • Date Submitted: 09/23/2014 06:38 AM
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1. How does emotional arousal interact with the human nervous system? Please describe in detail, and provide a practical or clinically related example.

Arousal is a state of heightened activity in both our mind and body that makes us more alert. Arousal starts in the brain, where the Reticular Activation System connects the primitive brain stem and the cortex and affects sleeping-waking transitions. In arousal, there is an increase in our wakefulness and consequent alertness and attention. In arousal caused by a threat, the fight-or-flight reaction is triggered.
The endocrine system stimulates various glands, in particular adrenaline, which increases oxygen and glucose flow, dilates the pupils and suppresses non-urgent systems such as digestion and the immune system.
Arousal is spread through the Sympathetic Nervous System, with effects such as increasing the heart rate and breathing to enable physical action and perspiration to cool the body. It also has specific actions such as stimulating sexual arousal.
Emotional arousal is a process, which means it happens as a sequence over time. Understanding this is a step towards being able to manage the process. Motional arousal is consequently seen as an essential component of such experiences as pleasure and displeasure, sadness and happiness, love and hate, despair and elation, gaiety and dejection, rage and exultation, exhilaration and grief, frustration and triumph, merriment and fear, anger and joy, and so on. Moods are also considered affective or emotional states that are associated with elevated arousal states.
Arousal often happens through a trigger, which appears through one of our senses. Thus, for example, arousal can happen through:
• Touch: A punch, kiss or caress
• Vision: Seeing something shocking or desirable
• Hearing: A sudden noise or somebody saying something
• Smell: An evocative odor that triggers powerful memories
• Taste: Of wonderful or disgusting food
The James-Lange theory is one...

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