Neuroscience, Narrative, and Emotion Regulation

In Roger Kurtz (ed.), Trauma and Literature. New York, NY, USA: pp. 153-166 (2018)

Authors
William Seeley
University of New Hampshire, Manchester
Abstract
Recent findings in affective and cognitive neuroscience underscore the fact that traumatic memories are embodied and inextricably integrated with the affective dimensions of associated emotional responses. These findings can be used to clarify, and in some cases challenge, traditional claims about the unrepresentability of traumatic experience that have been central to trauma literary studies. The cognitive and affective dimensions experience and memory are closely integrated. Recollection is always an attenuated form of embodied reenactment. Further, situation models for narrative comprehension show us that these same neurobiological processes that underwrite narrative understanding. This, in turn suggests that literary texts can be used as a resource for representing, reenacting, and understanding traumatic experience and might serve as external regulatory resources for reenacting, shaping, and thereby coping with traumatic memory.
Keywords AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE, EMBODIED APPRAISALS, EMOTION REGULATION, SITUATION MODELS, TRAUMA LITERATURE.
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Neuroscience and Literature.William Seeley - 2016 - In John Gibson and Noel Carroll (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature. New York, NY, USA: pp. 267-278.

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