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The science of emotions: Jaak Panksepp at TEDxRainier

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Given an inherent subjective nature, emotions have long been a nearly impenetrable topic for scientific research. Affective neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp explains a modern approach to emotions, and how taking seriously the emotions of other animals might soon improve the lives of millions. Jaak Panksepp introduced the concept of Affective Neuroscience in 1990, consisting of an overarching vision of how mammalian brains generate experienced affective states in animals, as effective models for fathoming the primal evolutionary sources of emotional feelings in human beings. This work has implications for further developments in Biological Psychiatry, ranging from an understanding of the underlying brain disorders, to new therapeutic strategies. Panksepp is a Ph.D. Professor and Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University. His scientific contributions include more than 400 papers devoted to the study of basic emotional and motivational processes of the mammalian brain. He has conducted extensive research on brain and bodily mechanisms of feeding and energy-balance regulation, sleep physiology, and most importantly the study of emotional processes, including associated feelings states, in other animals. This talk was given November 9, 2013 in Seattle at TEDxRainier, a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Text Comments (258)
Tiana switbeing (5 days ago)
tres interessant ❤ RIP :(
Ferii (7 days ago)
TM (12 days ago)
What a wise old man! 💚
Karen Forero (26 days ago)
One of the greatest scientists 🤓
zeerBumpi (27 days ago)
Long shot, but does anyone know what paper or I can get more information about the experiment he mentiomed where test animals could turn off anger stimuli?
MegaMissfitz (28 days ago)
I hope ya managed to pull ya sel together before ya fish and chips. Sweet dreams 😘😘😘
Da Bridge Effect (1 month ago)
Great job!
Alejandro playmesalsa (1 month ago)
As in October 16th 2018, there are 146 dislikes for this video, which proves that 146 viewers were not hugged enough by their mothers when they were little. I am sorry for all of you guys.
Bharati Jayanti (2 months ago)
Lucky to get chance to hear in 2018.
İbrahim Yılmaz (3 months ago)
oh the poor committing suicide Israelites and the monstrous mass murdered Palestinians...
Loved Forever (3 months ago)
Makes so much sense. Thank you. God bless you.
rodenrren sdc61909 (4 months ago)
WTF??? I thought science said animals couldn't process emotions
i i (4 months ago)
His voice is so soothing.
unkiledsoldier -_- (4 months ago)
What if when u feel like you Love someone it's really hate
luke stevenson (4 months ago)
The feeling you are talking about is a thought. The only feeling I know about is the sensory perception touch. Which does not tell you anything, you translate that sensation in the framework of your experiencing structure. The animal doesn't have the knowledge to translate the sensation into a feeling. An animal's feeling is only interested in the point of contact for purposes of preservation and survival. the sense of touch is not there in nature to tell the animal the way it is feeling, it has no functional value in nature so it is discarded. If the animal touches something hot it pulls away, there is no translation necessary, it is just responding to the stimulus. This is the way it is functioning. As a person you record this Sensation then you translate it as a feeling. there may be thinking in an animal but we have made it such a complicated thing. the domestic animals seem to be exhibiting traits more prevalent with human behaviour. But it is not translating the world dialectically. it doesn't know it itself exist, because to know anything about your existence you must have some knowledge of it. your identity is only what you know about yourself .animals don't have an identity, they have no language to identify their self. It's just functioning like the heart it does not know it is beating, it is not asking am I doing it right, what is the meaning of life. it exists but it doesn't have any knowledge of that fact.
Erich B. (4 months ago)
Where is humor? Perhaps in the play system . . .
M S (5 months ago)
Science answer HOW questions not WHY. Hope scientist took notice of this...
king last (5 months ago)
Rip x
Hom Tom (6 months ago)
This man needs to be on the receiving end of aubery de gray work
ilya chigrin (6 months ago)
another fascinating talk from TED's. very illuminating
Neal Wailing (7 months ago)
Go Vegan!
Timothy Corbett, Jr. (7 months ago)
Simply wonderful. Thank you.
Reprogramming Mind (7 months ago)
Thank you for this upload, so great to have captured this moment.
Marcy Murrell (8 months ago)
I wish it was my job to tickle other animals
Flynt RavenSpear (8 months ago)
Also, wouldn't the technical solution to human depression wouldn't be to mimic the opposite emotion, but rather to further research how the brain restores, repairs, and develop emotional maturity (in the concept of findings ways to have the brain develop and produce the correct amount of hormones), and arguably utilize human interaction as one of the main ways of treatment? Don't get me wrong; antidepressants are a wonderful short term solution. But it seems like just that; a short term solution to a long term problem.
Flynt RavenSpear (8 months ago)
Othelia Marie (8 months ago)
This is a beautiful talk.
Jason Reed (8 months ago)
I have never reported a video before. This is dangerous misinformation, folks. Misleading and dangerous.
Jason Reed (8 months ago)
Jaak's phrasing indicates how incorrect his emotion list is. Rage is an emotion? Or rage is a description for a high level of anger? So that means anger is the emotion, and it exists on a spectrum between annoyance and rage. Unless there is a completely separate method that uses lucky whimsical guesswork, the science of psychology is the answer to understanding emotions and learning how to cope with them. This man is without a doubt mistaken. His solutions will, at best, provide a bandaid for anyone's mental pain that will with virtually zero doubt push your understanding further from the resolutions you are seeking. But hey, some people cut them selves and eat couch cushions to escape their emotional pain. This guy's advice can't be any worse, right?
Jason Reed (8 months ago)
Positive identification of specific emotion-states in animals, described with enough specificity as to imply he's some sort of Dr. Dolittle who heard them describe their emotions? Please pinch me, I'm having a nightmare.
Jason Reed (8 months ago)
The rewarding feeling associated with attachment is mediated by serotonin and oxytocin. Opioids activate our dopamine reward system, which has nothing to do with attachment. We are not addicted to attachment, we crave it as a natural instinctive drive. It's THE reason we are social creatures.
HeartoftheRebel666 (9 months ago)
He reminds me of a mix of George Carlin, and Robert Anton Wilson. Really glad I watched this!
LL (9 months ago)
Who are the 113 idiots that downvoted this?
John Joseph (9 months ago)
Very great talk
Javier (9 months ago)
I've been only recently acquainted with Dr. Panksepp's work. I just ordered Affective Neuroscience and can't wait to read it. Extremely interesting work and man. Rest in Peace.
gaurima yadav (9 months ago)
Absolutely Fantastic !!! All we need to do is - JUST BE KIND.
Bella Spirite (9 months ago)
Knowing that emotions of many types is just a chemical release of the brain just tell me it's an addiction to whatever chemical is being released therefore all in the head. It's all in the head. It's created like fairy tales. It's not real because it's created. Brain works all sorts of wonders.
Dennis R. Levesque (9 months ago)
You assume facts not-in-evidence. "There is an impenetrable mystery in the fact that subjective experience exists in a physiochemical world." What came first, the chicken or the egg? What if the real mystery was the fact, that a physiochemical phenomenon exists in a subjective world? You have yet to prove the existence/non-existence of the first entity. Until you get the cause/effect straight, you're clueless. That's the real mystery.
Sheryl xavier (9 months ago)
Big Hug, love and gratitude for giving due respect to animals and their feelings. The emotions in animals has brought enlightenment to many saints in India in the past. God bless you for your invaluable discovery. One who has this deep understanding of animals emotions is definitely a super being My family members are cats, dogs, birds, snakes and many other little species There is such joy living together, nothing can beat this. Love and blessings to all animal lovers
david doggy (10 months ago)
= joy .
Sara K. (10 months ago)
Extremely interesting 👍
Julie Morrison (10 months ago)
I LOVE this!! Thank you!!
Ambi Cahira (10 months ago)
Because feelings are so universal we can not just sense what someone else feels in a recording (no body language) even if it's a different language, but I do exactly that with my animals. I hear a vocalization and then I try to feel what the sound feels like and I have become very skilled in hearing the feeling. :)
Marla S (10 months ago)
not a shocker... shocking is the cruelty of humans.
Jarod Rogers (11 months ago)
Wow where do we buy this wonderful stuff :-)
Anhad Singha (11 months ago)
Hello Dr! How can I learn resistance from noise while public speaking or practicing alone generally?
Anhad Singha (10 months ago)
Eddie Toth Humility stops me from speaking against any background sound including people speaking. What do I do in such a case? I'm in such a dilemma where I've got British etiquettes yet I need to learn the Americans way
Eddie Toth (10 months ago)
Anhad Singha It's easy to get distracted when others are talking. The only way to be able to resist noise is practice. Practice meditation that focuses on different sounds. Also try speaking with background noise around and keep 3 points always in your mind so you don't lose track :)
Whit (11 months ago)
This was started with the age old philosophical question of “I love and I hate can one tell me why?” Well my initial and absolute beginning to my own answer of the question is that “one” referred to is not another human or higher power. But the actual subjects of the question. Can what I love tell me why I hate? And can what I hate tell me why I love? Overall my thought process is always circling around why am I thinking and feeling this? How is it making those around me feel? How are others feelings affecting me? Beside all this I think this man is very deep emotionally for a scientist and as a literary mind I find his points appealing and easily accessible for my mind to comprehend.
#1Lazer (11 months ago)
I missed where he said who told him he had no more than a year to live, and for what reason.? Oh, no one can answer my question because I can't receive comments.
#1Lazer (11 months ago)
I'm a male, most would say a strong or alpha male, and I get a lot of emotional relief when I make myself cry about once a month. I call it my period. For those who may want to ask me questions or make any comment to me, you should know YouTube has blocked me from receiving any comments or feedback entirely. Even though most of my comments are questions on non controversial subjects. I wish I could have a conversation with you, but sadly it's not possible. He looks a lot like the guy who used to put out psychology videos peter gerlach.? He wrote a very interesting book, I think it was titled "Who's really running your life".
Mikael Oinas (11 months ago)
Thats cute but ad hoc.
Saif Khan (11 months ago)
claps for his lecture......salute you sir..blessings from my side.
Tapio Myllärinen (1 year ago)
Time after time i get surprised which kind of diamond we can explore as a modern explorer of our interest. Peace to your soul ... my soul friend.
Lowtom Membrane (1 year ago)
Thank you.
Lowtom Membrane (1 year ago)
Teach the looking glass BEFORE the child burns an ANT.
Lowtom Membrane (1 year ago)
Specific DE-compensation. Callibration.
Lucky DeSilva (1 year ago)
Great work. Reminds me of Dr Candace Pert's work. Thank you . With respect
Daniel Smith (1 year ago)
I was only listening to the audio. His message is powerful, informative, and beyond respectable. His voice is unbearable.
ytinformes2 (1 year ago)
R.I.P. Jaal Penksepp. Science and research lost a great investigator and innovator. Your rats wont laugh for a while
Athena X (1 year ago)
Aw he died in april :(
RIP Jaak. Your work made a difference - and, hopefully, increasingly more of your cynical colleagues will sit up and pay attention. Thank you for your generous sharing - and your kindness to all things great and small -- as well as your many contributions to the study of emotions at the dawn of the study of affective neuroscience. You will be missed. xx, mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com) ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder "It takes a village to transform a world!
joon lee (1 year ago)
windydayuser021 (1 year ago)
for the inner of no matter what animal, i don't count experiments. sorry! reality has a lot a lot to study that we didn't already, why need needle point to a narrow matter to learn what is in our inner. stuffs related each other in inner.
Bunu Türkçeye çevirebilir misiniz lütfen
Cindy Nice (1 year ago)
Money money money for Cindy nice420$$$
Marsha Creary (1 year ago)
Aren't primal emotions are experiences through the limbic system?
Jason Reed (8 months ago)
Yes. There was almost literally zero true information in that video. I'm starting to calm down now. OMG
A psychology of joy! Thank you Jaak! Dottie
Debonaire Death (1 year ago)
"Science does not answer why questions: it answers how questions." Probably the most important quote for any researcher. I think the social sciences have largely forgotten this axiom.
higher frequencies (1 year ago)
emotions elevate
higher frequencies (1 year ago)
like Jaak. thank you .
Jintaro Kensei (1 year ago)
Wanted to figure out why I lack empathy. This video won't be of use.
Dee Ray (1 year ago)
If a person is depressed because of some problems in relationships pill paupery will only solve the symptom not the source of distress.
Dee Ray (1 year ago)
Pill paupery wont solve anything. Emotions are the existential compass of our lives. If you just reduce it to circuits and pills you simply wont get it.
José Yánez (1 year ago)
Amazing and very informative talk. I had never been exposed to any publication from Panksepp but now I will look into his research after watching this. Absolute genius.
NathanGraffiti (1 year ago)
Very interesting
Bella Dorra (1 year ago)
try to add Arabic translation please ,thanks
Murray Davis (1 year ago)
Goes with Bowlby's studies. How wonderful, not only insight into our human behaviour, but into our respect of animals.
Saraanne Guthrie (1 year ago)
Thinking that this connects to the book due to us all connecting through emotions. Learning that the brain is different and emotions can influence certain ways of acting.
Saraanne Guthrie (1 year ago)
Hearing that the animal mind connects through chickens with ginuea pigs show sadness and not knowing exactly what the animals are thinking of. Thinking that they would be able to come up with if have angry thoughts you will have angry reactions and that there is no pill for that. Seeing what the primal emotions and affective feelings are is opening the way I think about how I've been feeling even now.
Hemant P (1 year ago)
Man is nothing but underlying chain of chemical reactions
not my real pseudonym (9 months ago)
Hemant P - nah that's just reductionism. Why not go subatomic or pull out of the microscope and go telescopic and view us as a collection of relationships between bodies etc. We are a mystery and matter more than matter
Robert B (1 year ago)
Pharma shills in the comment section. lol
TheOne (1 year ago)
emotions come from the soul. emotions are proof of the existence of souls, yes, animals also have souls.
Tesla Nick (1 year ago)
You've commented that on a video that proves your statement wrong.
JoeNoobie (1 year ago)
Rest in peace, Mr Panksepp. You were a genius and an unsung hero. I learned so much of how the mind works, because of your priceless research into the state of emotional mind of organisms. You will be sorely missed, and I vow that your field will achieve the esteemed place it deserves in scientific research, treatment of illness, and physical study of the brain, some day. Not only did you do incalculably valuable research into the human condition, (indeed all life) but you did it with the care necessary for the subjescts of your research. You have shown us, that research animals, indeed all animals, are not just tools for humans to achieve, but worthwhile organisms, worthy of being thanked for their assistance. Your spirit must have been carried away in a chariot of gold, drawn by pure white rats. The laughter of the knock-out mice and other small creatures, will resound throughout the heavens for eternity, due to your dilligence, and respect for all life. Thank you for teaching us, and bringing your brand of science into the light.
Juan Gastelum (1 year ago)
where or how can i get a transcript of this?
N K (4 months ago)
You can download the entire transscribed monologue from all TED talks and other vids just google that and insert this video url. Then it downloads as a txt file which you can open with most computers and read. one site is downsub. Go google it
Jason Reed (8 months ago)
In the fiction isle of any children's section of the library. Right next to "Cat in the Hat".
Valencia Ray MD (1 year ago)
Glad to see this conversation happening. In light of neuroplasticity, however, I suggest being very careful about dooming people to the fate of 'the rest of their lives' of not being able to heal their emotions or connectivity to others if they have a less than stellar childhood as far as bonding goes. I recall in medical school that we were taught years ago that after age 21 or so, our brain could not produce new brain cells...very wrong in light of neuroplasticity. I never bought into it, it made no sense. I believe our body has vast potential for healing and rejuvenation when we stop making so many assumptions that only lead to 'self-fulfilling prophecies' of the victim or fixed mindsets.
Valencia Ray MD (1 year ago)
James...have you read anything on adult neurogenesis? It doesn't seem like it, considering your response? Besides, if you need the black or white security and predictability of new neuroscience research findings...you may be disappointed. What is true this year, may change next year. Mental agility would be advisable in this area of study. ...Not dogmatism.
Valencia Ray MD (1 year ago)
Considering you never went to medical school in the first place...what do you know....not very much apparently.
Tesla Nick (1 year ago)
+Valencia Ray MD _' I recall in medical school that we were taught years ago that after age 21 or so, our brain could not produce new brain cells...very wrong in light of neuroplasticity.'_ Nope. Your medical school was correct. Neuroplasticity describes neural pathways, not neurons themselves. You need to go back to school. Seems you've bought into some kind of new age bullshit. _'I believe our body has vast potential for healing and rejuvenation when we stop making so many assumptions that only lead to 'self-fulfilling prophecies' of the victim or fixed mindsets.'_ Who cares what you or any one 'believes'. What can you PROVE...
James Marcus Solzan (1 year ago)
Valencia Ray MD Don't think it's about generating new cells as much as it's about generating new CONNECTIONS.🔑
Great talk Jaak, and I very much appreciate all the work and discoveries that you and your colleagues have made. As an independent science writer who co-researched and co-wrote two books on the human mind-brain system, namely Primal Mind, Primal Games: Why We Do What We Do, I was especially intrigued with your summation table identifying key emotions that appear around the 5:50 mark in your 17+ minute TEDx talk. I think this maps well onto our three-fold mindset model which is derivative of the Fight-Flight and Freeze instinct substrate, as it shows an elaboration and evolution of the emotional system into more subtle and complex variant expressions. (Co-author Paul H. LeMay)
Paul LeMay (1 year ago)
When I posted the above, Jaak Panksepp had died only a few weeks before. I discovered this when I tried to contact him at the university in Washington State where he worked.
Tesla Nick (1 year ago)
He died in April dude...
Ellukaas (1 year ago)
RIP Jaak Panksepp
F. Cox (1 year ago)
Thank-you Dr. Panksepp and rest in peace. GOD Bless you and your life's work. It has helped me and my patients immensely. My heart goes out to the family you left behind, I wish you all peace and health.
Travis Ruggirello (1 year ago)
"Instead of simply dishing out drugs, she wondered if she could mobilize her patients' psychological resources. So she developed a blend of empathic communication skills, positive suggestion and visual imagery that she hoped would help them relax, and ease their pain. She calls it Comfort Talk." (Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body by Jo ...Marchant Ch. 7 Pg. 123) I don't know why I have to feel out of sync with the world because I have an extensive background in dance.  I don't know why I have to feel like my dance background is just child's play to those "other people" that I don't relate to.  I don't know why I have to  feel like I have never practiced 12 months of sobriety and/or seen a doctor or licensed psychologist to those men that assume I should like them just because they are nice.  I don't know why I have to see myself in every man because I am a homosexual who grew up in front of the mirror in dance schools in Southern California, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York.  I don't know why I have to feel disabled because of my life experience in that pink collar world I once understood which was dance and retail. "Because it is really not medicine at all, it is just a mindset..." (on embracing Comfort Talk from the book Cure: A Journey  into the Science of Mind over Body by Jo Marchant Ch. 7 Pg. 126) I don't know why I have to feel like I am supposed to be that homosexual stereotype or strange label known as HIV and/or never having a father figure because of my current status which is homelessness.  I don't know why I have to feel my experience with gay phone sex and gay sex acts on Skype was not an inventive experience. I don't know why I have to feel my lectures from my dance teachers growing up (including my biological mother who was once a credentialed dance teacher)  have to feel emotionally dumb to those men that only understand the military way and/or sports.   I don't know why I have to feel emotionally uncoordinated because of the imagination with sex, drugs, and rock and roll. "When we're receiving medical care, our mental state matters.  Those who feel alone and afraid do not fare as well as those who feel supported, safe and in control." (Cure: A Journey  into the Science of Mind over Body by Jo Marchant Ch. 7 Pg. 130) I don't know why I have to stay in that class of people that don't understand arts and culture due to their life experience. I don't know why I have to feel cheated from the world because of social class.  I don't know why I have to feel like I only understand Medi-Cal and/or food stamps because of the way I present myself as a homosexual who is currently homeless in East Village of San Diego, CA.
so if animals experience pain and love, why do people slaughter them and eat them?
joker jolly (1 year ago)
Respect and RIP
Strange Dog (1 year ago)
It is difficult to progress as a society when so many people won't accept that the mind is generated by the brain, and in the same way for humans as for other animals. Effective social policy, including animal welfare policy, mental health policy, and drug addiction policy, has to be based on rational understanding, combined with compassion.
Bankai Summoner (1 year ago)
Strange Dog that is why you have to change education
Rolando Tillit (1 year ago)
Trash pop psychology. If any of this bullshit was correct we'd have better psychiatric and psychological tools. The truth is our understanding is flawed.
Steve Smekar (1 year ago)
If science is so great, why are they all about boiling it down to a pill? If science is so great, why don't they see that we have too many pills now, with all the attendant addictions and deaths?
RobertLisa Meyer (1 year ago)
GLAX-13 a NMDA receptor glycine - from Allergan Pharmaceuticals and Naurex - - as described by Dr. Jaak Panksepp - When?? What is the website to receive an application for inclusion in the trial studies?
Jason Reed (8 months ago)
Notice GLAX13 not only has absolutely nothing to do with any emotion altering chemistry AND that even though this "promising research" happened years ago, there is literally nothing resembling this "drug" on the market for any sort of mental illness.
Ize Belle (1 year ago)
*Panksepp* 👏👏👏💗
planet x (1 year ago)
he is confused.
ZazoAndrov (1 year ago)
Is there a list of all the referenced studies mentioned in the video?
Tesla Nick (1 year ago)
Read his books. He's referencing his own research.
De Evolve (1 year ago)
Very Interesting. There are no chemical solutions for lifestyle related problems. You can try, but you will only end up with greater problems. Excellent talk. Enjoyed it very much. Just Let me know when we start focusing on addressing cause, rather than looking to treat chemicals with chemicals.
jjsiegal (1 year ago)
This man is a typical scientist. Just reiterating what WE ALREADY know,...emotions affect everything in your life (health, wealth, and relationships). What about the solutions too control your emotions?
alec latha (12 days ago)
Maybe just maybe The difference between "to" and "too" is the first step
Tyrfingr (6 months ago)
Instinctively we know about them, we do alot of things without very much planning or thought behind it when it comes to emotion. But being aware of the inner workings and what we can affect by actually thinking about what we are doing; or are about to do. Like being aware of other peoples situation in life, and being able to read the subtle hints that everything is not okay - Then we can do things conscientiously with great positive effect on others.
Iuppiter (8 months ago)
Typical? He's sharing information, what is exactly what science does. If you already knew these stuff, cool, keep doing your research, but don't bash him just because others might not know it. And no, you don't control your emotions, you're gonna feel doesn't matter what you do, the only thing you can do is choose to act or not upon those emotions.
Alan Brunton (1 year ago)
We are advancing our knowledge to understand the three basic questions "Who are we? Why are we here? What is our purpose?" Consciousness making a choice to experience emotion, which is the ability to form energy into matter set into motion through a field of a carbon based platform, can and is controlled by thought. The tools are in front of each of us to become more than the subconscious allows. CHOOSE the environmental influences which direct (limit) your ability and own your emotional response. You are the creator.
Margus Mith (1 year ago)
Truly fascinating ! His work was mentioned also in a book "Sapiens: a brief history of humanking"
Amir Rahiminia (1 year ago)
All natural secretion of hormones in a body is directly proportional to the body needs. The best treatment to any unbalanced hormonal activity is to study the needs of a subject. Any artificial treatment should only exist if minority disorder as the variations occurs. You don't artificially stimulate secretion of a gland or supplement a Does just because you think it would help a problem of another.
nimim. Marko Mikkilä (2 years ago)
Thanks, Panksepp!

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