Where do we feel that emotion?

Body-maps

It’s often said that you can make decisions with your head or your heart, which is something most of us have experience with, but have you ever thought about where you feel different emotions?

Is love solely an emotion of the heart, for example?

It was partially questions like this that engineering and psychology researchers in Finland recently set out to answer.

They showed volunteers two blank silhouettes of person on a screen and then told the subjects to think about an emotion. The volunteers then painted areas of the body that they felt were stimulated by that emotion (warm, red and yellow areas on the figures). On a second silhouette, they painted areas of the body that get deactivated during that emotion (the blue areas). The figures above show the findings across all volunteers.

It shows interesting details, like that the physical response to pride and anger are almost the same, and that happiness, love and anger seem to be the only feelings associated with your hands.

An interesting further study would be to see if where we feel emotions varies between countries and cultures.

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