Emotive Learning – 2

An astute reader is aware that certain emotional behaviors seem not to be dependent on emotive learning as much as others. An appropriate response would be too long for a ’comment’ response so a posted response is provided in case other readers have the same insight.

If there is a fault in mariner’s writing style, it is that he over simplifies bulky, textbook information by using simplistic metaphors and excessively anthropomorphic examples. So here is some textbook information:

We might have a reaction to seeing someone we know with emotional circumstances or have irate thoughts about some event or information. Whatever level of complex emotion we are having, these feelings are handled by the limbic system.[1] The limbic system consists of four areas:

Amygdala, Hippocampus, Thalamus and Hypothalamus


We can thank our amygdala for our “fight or flight” response. But the amygdala does more than tell us to scream or quake in horror. The amygdala is always on the lookout for arousing cues. (In psychology, “arousal” is used to describe a sense of alertness and consciousness. We can reach high levels of arousal for good and not-so-good reasons.) Once these cues are discovered, the amygdala sends out signals to activate our “motivational circuitry.”


The hippocampus is primarily responsible for making memories, but it also influences our emotions. We attach emotions to memories all the time. The stronger the emotion, the more likely we are to recall that memory.

(The part of the brain alluded to in mariner’s term ‘emotive learning’)

This area of the brain handles receiving sensory information. Many emotions begin with sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste. Once our eyes, ears, skin, tongue, and nose pick up on those stimuli, they send up information to the thalamus and we begin to make sense of what is in front of us.


When we have highly emotional moments, we can thank our hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is key in keeping our bodies in homeostasis (stabilized) and releasing hormones such as adrenaline.

Mariner could go on and teach textbook psychology, but this should suffice as a response to the reader’s observation. Mariner’s post was an attempt to question whether blocking the Thalamus in our daily interactions was a good thing.

Ancient Mariner


[1] Mariner credits the website which has its own form of simplification and is used universally by psychology institutions: https://practicalpie.com/what-part-of-the-brain-processes-emotion/

1 thought on “Emotive Learning – 2

  1. Thanks for this lesson. Good stuff! We really are complicated creatures, and I share your concern that we lean too far in letting mechanical (in the broadest sense) take over some of our human functions.

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