Emotions and the Limbic System

Emotions & The limbic system - riellemoises.com.au

We all (mainly) feel a variety of emotions every day of our lives. Humans have what is known as the Limbic System. The limbic system is made up of a set of structures. These structures have a diverse set of functions. These functions involve emotion, motivation, learning and even memory.

All these functions play a huge part in the lives of human beings each and every day. BUT! Did you know that, just like us, animals also have a limbic system? Yes, they do.

So, what does this mean? It means they also have emotions, motivation, learning and obviously, memory. They do feel happy and sad and love and anger. It means they also feel fear and pain. They also feel loss. Loss of a loved one.

Scientist Marc Bekoff, has studied animals for many years. In particular, the role and impact of social communication. He has written about his observations and discoveries. What has he discovered I hear you ask? Emotions have a huge impact on the lives of animals. Just like with people, it plays the role of ‘a social glue to bond animals with one another’. It also ‘regulate[s] a wide variety of social encounters among friends and foes’. That is what Bekoff has uncovered.

Yet, there are those so-called ‘humans’ that do not wish to believe that this can be so. This, even though there are many studies that support what Bekoff and all his years of research have proved to be true.

If you really think about it, and I highly recommend that you do, it is perhaps our own fear and emotional immaturity that doesn’t allow us to accept what has already been scientifically proven time and time again, animals do have an array of ‘deep and emotional lives’. Yet, animals continue to be abused, tortured, killed and eaten. Why? Because we turn a blind eye to what they are going through because we see ourselves as the ‘superior race’.


Bekoff, Marc. “Do Animals Have Emotions? Of Course They Do!” N.p., n.d.

Burton L, Drew Western, and Robin Kowalski. 2012. “Chapter 3 Biological bases of mental life and behaviour”. Psychology. 3rd Australian and New Zealand Edition. Australia: John Wiley & Sons.

Karen Fazio | For Inside Jersey. “Dogs Suffer from Many of the Same Psychological Disorders as Humans.” NJ.com. Institute of Neurological Diseases, 07 Dec. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2016