Re-thinking (Re-feeling?) Where Emotions Come From

Mar 14, 2017

Why does a crowd yelling "surprise" at a birthday party delight one person but make another grumpy?  They're just wired that way, we like to say. 

What emotions do you see here?
Credit Rod Waddington, CC BY-SA 2.0,

And we could very well be wrong.  Psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett has a different theory: that emotions do not come from specific areas in the brain in all people, but from all over the brain, depending on an individual's experiences and thinking. 

Barrett lays out the theory in How Emotions Are Made, just now hitting bookstores. 

The author joins us to put some details on her theory of emotions and their origins.