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If we evolved with emotions, they must have some purpose, right? If so, do we actually need to experience emotions, in the same way that we need to ingest vitamins?

That's the premise of an online discussion hosted by the World Mind Institute, led by Imam Saqib of the National Institute of Psychology at Quaid-i-Azam University in Pakistan, Irina Higgins of the Oxford University Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence, and Melissa Mendoza of the University of La Verne.

The premise:

There may be research which suggests that for ideal health a person's glands should emit so much adrenaline, so much cortisol, and so much oxytocin on a daily basis. This could translate into a requirement that one would be well served to have several kinds of experiences every day which require these hormones. They might include the feel-good emotions that everyone craves; but they might also include less popular ones like aggression, fear, and anxiety.

This seems like kind of a no-brainer to me; I think these folks are forgetting that these same "emotion" hormones are also critical to all sorts of biological functions. For example, a surge of cortisol in the morning helps us transition from sleeping to waking. Oxytocin helps regulate the autonomic nervous system and is involved in satiation after eating.

Join the discussion here.

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