What is your ‘Emotional Homunculus’?
The word ‘Homunculus’ translates from the Latin as ‘little man’, but has always referred to our ‘inner human’. The emotional homunculus is the part of the brain that makes us uniquely human. Over time, the Emotional Homunculus uses emotions – good or bad, pleasure or pain, risk or reward – to build up a template for how we behave. It’s kind of like a vinyl record that has grooves scratched into it over our lifetime. So how does it do this?
Well, inside your head are many powerful chemicals (for example, Dopamine and Adrenaline all working together to create different emotional states). If you’ve ever wondered why some days you can’t get out of bed and on others you’re so excited you can’t sleep, that’s your ‘Brain’s Amazing Drugs Cabinet’– the part of your brain that determines how we see, act and react to the world around us based on our emotions and the ways we’ve learned to react to things in the past.
Cyrenians Scottish Centre for the Conflict Resolution’s video provides an introduction to the Emotional Homunculus. It features Dr Sara Watkins who explains what an Emotional Homunculus and the Brain’s Amazing Drug Cabinet are.
If you are keen to learn more, The Resource Hub on the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution website is full of fantastic resources which help us understand what is happening in our brain and body when we are faced with different life situations and emotions.
For more information and to view and download resources, visit the Resource Hub at the SCCR website https://www.scottishconflictresolution.org.uk/resource-hub/cranial-cocktail