In Cognitive Principle Matrix a mask is a subconscious basic emotion used when a person lacks emotional development.

In February 2014, the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow published an article in the Current Biology magazine, stating that there may be only four basic emotions, namely, happy, sad, fear and anger.

This finding fits with polyvagal theory that there are three polyvagal nerves, namely:

Fight=Anger, Flight =Fear or Anxiety, Freeze =Sadness & Engagement= Happy. These are senses and feelings, called basic emotions.

According to Lisa Feldman Barret's book "How Emotions are Made" all other emotions are constructed in the brain in response to events in life.

When a person lacks a broad range of emotions, then they will down regulate to the basic emotions.

According to Cognitive Principle Matrix emotions follow a cycle to solve a problem, although the cycle is not necessarily in successive order.

Under an emotional attack [fear] a person will have anger [defense], then feel sad [hurt], then critical [for evaluation-What went wrong?]. Criticalness is a brain function. If the person can't evaluate, they may go to anger [verbal abuse] as a mask or to anxiety [fear in the form of panic].

Confusion is part of the brain evaluation process. If the person can't handle confusion feel hopeless and go back to sadness [depression].

Alternatively a person may use happiness as a denial defense [mask] for anger, sadness or anxiety.


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