We all know that emotions can trigger strong bodily sensations. A new study from Aalto University looked at where we experience these sensation in our body. Researchers found surprisingly consistent results, even across cultures. For example, anxiety may be experienced as pain in the chest, whereas falling in love may trigger warm, pleasurable sensations all over the body.
The research was carried out online, and over 700 individuals from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan took part in the study. The researchers induced different emotional states in the participants, then participants were shown pictures of human bodies on a computer, and asked to color the regions whose activity they felt increasing or decreasing.
The results were published on December 31, 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.