Emotions Caused by Your Brain

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a science article under the following heading: In Pain and Joy of Envy, the Brain May Play a Role. It is a very well-written and engaging article of the subject of envy, which is a fascinating emotion.

The title, however, leaves something to be desired.

It seems to imply that there was some doubt over whether the brain plays a role in envy. The modern scientific consensus is that the brain plays a role in all emotions.

So why write this article? To tell the truth, the article doesn’t fit the title very well: the article isn’t really about proving a role for the brain in envy. A better title might have been “The Science of Envy.” I suspect the editors chose the title because it is well-known that people believe cognitive research more if you stick the word “brain” in a few places. In journalistic parlance, neuroscience is a good hook.

However, as a public service, and in probably a vain attempt to forestall future articles with titles such as “In Pain and Joy of love/hate/surprise/etc., the Brain May Play a Role,” here are a list of emotions and psychological states (courtesy of WordNet) in which the brain certainly plays a role, to the extent we can be certain about anything:

abashment
abhorrence
absolutethreshold
acidity
acridity
activity
addiction
affection
agape
aggravation
aggression
aim
alarm
anaphrodisia
angst
animus
antagonism
anxiety
anxiousness
aphrodisia
appetite
ardor
aroma
arousal
assumption
astringence
attention
attitude
attributing
auditoryperception
awareness
awe
badtemper
beholding
belief
belligerence
beneficence
benevolence
bitter
blessedness
bloodlust
boding
bold
boredom
brave
breakdown
brightnessconstancy
caprice
caring
cautious
chafe
chagrin
chill
chromesthesia
class feeling
cogitation
cold
cold feet
colorconstancy
coloredhearing
comfortzone
competence
concentration
concept
conditioned response
confidence
conscience
consideration
constancy
constriction
construction
construing
contemplation
contrast
copulation
cowardly
craving
creeps
curiosity
curious
cutaneoussensation
deficit
deliberation
desire
despisal
detection
devotion
differencethreshold
diffidence
discombobulation
discomfiture
discontentment
disgruntlement
displeasure
dissatisfaction
dread
dream
driven
dudgeon
dysphoria
ecstasy
edginess
education
elation
embarras
embarrassmentsment
embitterment
emotionalstate
empathy
emulation
enamoredness
engrossment
enmity
estimate
euphoria
exhilaration
expectation
exuberance
facerecognition
faculty
faintness
fear
fed
feeling
finish[winetasting]
fit
fondness
fondregard
fragility
frisson
frustration
fundamental
fury
gaiety
generosity
gloom
gloomy
gratefulness
gratification
gratitude
hackles
hankering
happiness
harassment
harmonic
hatred
health
heart
heartstrings
homesickness
horror
huffiness
humility
hunch
hysteria
idea
image
immersion
impatient
impression
incautious
incense
incentive
indignation
infirmity
infuriation
insecurity
intention
interest
interpretation
interpreting
intimidation
intoxication
introspection
intuitions
irascibility
ire
itching
jealousy
jitteriness
jnd
joy
jubilance
judgement
judgment
lazy
lecherousness
lemon
letdown
levity
libido
limen
lividity
longing
love
lovesickness
loyalty
maleficence
malevolence
malice
malodor
masking
meekness
melody
misanthropy
misocainea
misogamy
misogyny
misology
misoneism
misopedia
mittelschmerz
motivation
motive
murderousness
music
music[music]
musicalperception
musicofthespheres
musings
musk
nationalism
naughty
need
nervous
niff
nostalgia
nymphomania
objective
objectiveorgoal
objectrecognition
open
opinion
opticalfusion
outlook
overtone
pain>twinge
painthreshold
panic
passion
patient
perspective
pessimism
phantom limb pain
piece
pining
pins and needles
pique
plan
pointofview
pondering
position
pressure
projection
protectiveness
proud
prurience
pruritus
pruritusani
pruritusvulvae
puppylove
purpose
qualityoflife
racket
radiance
rationalized
reaction
reasoning
reflection
regard
relish
representation
resentment
reserve
responsible
sadness
salt
satyriasis
scare
scent
scruple
security
seethe
self-depreciation
self-disgust
selfish
sensation>odor
sense
sensuality
serenity
serious
sexiness
sexualdesire
shame
shamefacedness
shapeconstancy
shyness
side
sinking
sizeconstancy
smell
softspot
somesthesia
sound>tone
sour
speculation
speechperception
stage fright
stance
state
stomach
supposing
surmising
suspense
suspicious
sweet
sweettooth
sympathy
synesthesia
taste>tang
temperature>warmth
temptation
tenderness
terror
thinking
thought
tickle
timid
timidness
tingle
titillation
to stop loving
tolerant
tone
topognosia
touch
trepidation
triumph
trust
twinge
umbrage
uneasiness
unhappiness
up
urge
urtication
vanilla
velleity
view
viewpoint
vigil
vindictiveness
vision
visualspace
wakefulness
warmth
weakness
whistful
whitenoise
willies
wishfulness
wishing
wistfulness
withdrawn
wor
worship
wrath

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