Body mapping shows where emotions affect us the most

Emotions are often felt in the body, and somatosensory feedback has been proposed to trigger conscious emotional experiences.

A team of Finnish researchers has produced a set of 'body maps' showing just what effect different emotions have on us.

The new study reveals maps of bodily sensations associated with different emotions using a unique topographical self-report method.

According to the researchers, although it's well known that emotions cause changes in the body, what's less clear is just how subjective these changes are, and whether or not the changes for each emotion are distinct.

In five experiments, 701 participants were shown two silhouettes of bodies alongside emotional words, stories, movies, or facial expressions.

They were asked to color the bodily regions whose activity they felt increasing or decreasing while viewing each stimulus. Different emotions were consistently associated with statistically separable bodily sensation maps across experiments.

In all, they gathered information on a total of 13 different emotions — six 'basic' ones (anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness and surprise) and seven 'complex' ones (anxiety, love, depression, contempt, pride, shame and envy). Putting the results from all participants together, they came up with a 'body atlas' of sorts, showing how these different emotions affect the body.

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If you'd like to participate in the study, to expand their findings, you can do so by clicking here

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