The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Emotions as Communication

Emotions are also the fastest way that we can communicate with members of our group, another activity that is critical to survival. The US psychiatrist Allan Hobson thinks that emotions are signals between animals of the same species that communicate one's brain state to another.

Emotions may predate language itself as a form of communication.  The US anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell coined a term, "kinesics", for paralinguistic body communication, such as facial expression (“Introduction to Kinesics”, 1952). Birdwhistell thought that all movements of the body obey some kind of meaning. Non-verbal behavior has its own grammar, with a "kineme" being the kinesic equivalent of the phoneme.

Kinesics is about emotions. It may well be that body communication existed before language was invented, and that it was the main form of communication.

Facial expression is inevitable like language and universal like language.


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