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Antonio Damasio is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, as well as the author of several books. Drawing on this experience as well as his keen interest in the connection between human emotions, rationality and biology, his speech offers a fascinating discussion on how the human brain processes feelings such as sadness, happiness and love.
Analyzing the importance of neurology in emotion, he reveals that feeling an emotion is a process that is distinct from having that emotion in the first place. He defines an emotion as consisting of “a very well orchestrated set of alterations in the body.” He argues that feelings have the set purpose of making life more survivable. The brain processes emotions in order to take advantage of opportunities or to recognize and avoid danger.
Offering a more evolutionary explanation of the way humans experience emotions, Antonio Damasio and his speech lead us to question the real reasons behind a frown or smile.