The Physics of Emotion: Candace Pert on Feeling Go(o)d
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Emotions, Pert explains, are not simply chemicals in the brain. They are electrochemical signals that affect the chemistry and electricity of every cell in the body. The body’s electrical state is modulated by emotions, changing the world within the body. In turn, Pert finds emotional states affect the world outside the body.
Even before she was chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health, Candace Pert made a breakthrough discovery that changed the way scientists understand the mind-body connection. She found the opiate receptor, the mechanism by which a class of chemicals (peptides) alters the mind and body. Her research led her to an understanding of the way emotions function as a regulatory system in the body. Since that discovery she focused on developing an AIDS treatment using peptides, first at the University of Georgetown Medical Center, and then as scientific director of RAPID Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Pert passed away in 2013.
Because of her work on emotions, Dr. Pert was featured in the film, What the Bleep Do We Know, and frequently speaks on the role of emotions in the mind-body. Pert’s work helped shift the paradigm from “emotions as neuroscience” to “emotions as biology.” In her new book, Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d, she’s taking the science of feeling a step further to present “emotions as physics.”