It’s well known that attitudes, emotions and feelings affect our body in a variety of ways. For example, feelings of hopelessness affect the body’s hormone system and change the chemical flows within our brains. Different emotional states act as triggers that impact our biology in a variety of ways. Brain activity changes during different emotional states. The list goes on and on.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science demonstrates that different emotional states trigger different physical sensations on the body. Emotions such as anger, impacted the body in a different area compared to the emotion of fear, disgust, happiness, love, depression, and more. Each individual emotion had it’s own unique part of the body that correlated with it.
The study was conducted at Aalto University by a team of bio-medical engineers. 700 volunteers from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan participated in the study.
“Emotions are often felt in the body, and somatosensory feedback has been proposed to trigger conscious emotional experiences. Here we reveal maps of bodily sensations associated with different emotions using a unique topographical self-report method. In five experiments, 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 statically separable bodily sensation maps across experiments. These maps were concordant across West European and East Asian samples.” (1)