Ecology of the brain emphasises how the entire organism is a “resonance body” for experience. For example, feeling ashamed and afraid are “integral acts of life that equally involve intentional, emotional and bodily components”. Shame or fear emerge from an experience of the current situation provoking an autonomous organismic reaction.
If the physiological aspects of these reactions become withdrawn from their former integration in superordinate emotions, they can take on an independent existence as particularised physical dysfunctions. They may have originally had an expressive or activating function for coping with certain situations, but if removed from superordinate control and regulatory feedback, they can present as psychosomatic symptoms.