Where Your Body ‘Feels’ Emotions Revealed In New Study

Written by on January 7, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science, Technology with 2 Comments
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Huffingtonpost | Jan 8th 2014

Self-reported body maps reveal areas in the body where certain sensations may increase (warm colors) or decrease (cool colors) for a given emotion.

Self-reported body maps reveal areas in the body where certain sensations may increase (warm colors) or decrease (cool colors) for a given emotion.

Scientists have long known that common emotions can trigger sensations in our bodies — whether it's butterflies in the stomach (anxiety) or hot cheeks (shame). And now a new study suggests that we all have the same bodily sensations associated with our feelings regardless of culture or language — because the mind-body connection is biological, and is linked to our very drive for survival.

“Our emotional system in the brain sends signals to the body so we can deal with our situation,” study leader Dr. Lauri Nummenmaa,assistant professor at Aalto University's School of Science in Finland, told NPR. “Say you see a snake and you feel fear… Your nervous system increases oxygen to your muscles and raises your heart rate so you can deal with the threat. It's an automated system. We don't have to think about it.”


For the study, more than 700 men and women from Finland and Taiwan were shown two silhouettes of bodies alongside emotionally charged words, stories, movies, or facial expressions. They were asked to mark in the bodily regions on the silhouettes where they felt a physical sensation response to each emotional image.

What did the researchers find? The resulting body maps revealed that most people had similar physical sensations in response to each emotional state.

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  1. wissl@myfairpoint.net' Richard says:

    When I witness someone getting hurt , like a kid in a T shirt and cut off jeans on a skateboard going down hard on a paved road , i get an immediate feeling in my legs , an empathetic chill . I’ve never heard a word for this nor have i ever heard anyone else express experience of the same response to someone else’s pain. …anybody with me on this one ?

  2. mediamagic08@live.com' Leonard Ross Jr says:

    Proof that the human body cannot lie

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