The Mind creates Emotions

Emotions are formed in consciousness, not in the body

Cognitive Principle Therapy states that emotions can be created directly by the conscious mind [System 2] or can generated by senses and feelings in the nervous system [System 1], relayed into the limbic system, then into the conscious mind, where they are converted to emotions.

The neuroscience article below supports this view


Emotions start in the mind, not in the body.

LeDoux and Brown write, “In this paper, we challenge the conventional view, which argues that emotions are innately programmed in subcortical circuits, and propose instead that emotions are higher-order states instantiated in cortical circuits.”

LeDoux's new hypothesis is: "A higher-order theory of emotional consciousness."

Emotions are a cognitive process that relies on “higher-order states” embedded in cortical (conscious) brain circuits; emotions are not innately programmed into subcortical (nonconscious) brain circuits, according to a potentially earth-shattering new paper written by neuroscience legend Joseph LeDoux of New York University and Richard Brown, professor of philosophy at the City University of New York's LaGuardia College.

Joseph LeDoux has been working on the link between emotion, memory, and the brain since the 1990s. He's credited with putting the amygdala in the spotlight and making this previously esoteric subcortical brain region a household term. LeDoux founded the Emotional Brain Institute (EBI). He’s also a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Why Is This New Report From LeDoux and Brown Significant?

In the world of cognitive neuroscience, there's an ongoing debate about the interplay between emotional states of consciousness (or feelings) within cortical and subcortical brain regions. (Most experts believe that cortical brain regions house “thinking” neural circuits within the cerebral cortex. Subcortical brain regions are considered to be housed in “non-thinking” neural circuits beneath the 'thinking cap' of the cerebral cortex.)

In a statement to New York University, LeDoux said,

"We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain. Specifically, the differences between emotional and non-emotional states are the kinds of inputs that are processed by a general cortical network of cognition, a network essential for conscious experiences."

Some cognitive scientists believe that human emotions are innately programmed into subcortical brain regions and operate separately from cortical brain circuits. Based on this assumption, emotional states of consciousness are often treated differently than cognitive states of consciousness rooted in cortical circuits.


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