Published on January 2nd, 20140
How we feel when we experience emotion in the body? (PHOTO)
Close your eyes and remember the last time you felt love. How did you feel love? You have butterflies in your stomach or feel like your heart was racing?
When scientists have asked individuals to describe what parts of the body feel different emotions, they found that these experiences are very similar, even people from different cultures.
Specifically, people have said that happiness and love triggers activity in almost the entire body, while depression is felt in the arms, legs and head. On the other hand, it seems fear and danger triggers strong feelings in the chest, and anger is an emotion that activates the arms.
Now scientists hope that one day, these emotions and how to feel them at the body to help diagnose certain psychological disorders.
“Our emotional brain sends signals to the body, so that we can deal with the situation”, said psychologist Nummenmaa Lauri Aalto University.
“Let’s say you see a snake and fear strikes. Your nervous system increases heart rate and level of oxygen reaching the muscles, so that you can manage to get the better of the situation. It is an automatic system. We do not have to think about how we react”, explained the study coordinator.
This idea has existed for centuries, but scientists were unable to agree whether these changes in the body are distinct for each emotion or if this model is a way to identify the conscious mind emotions.
To clarify the issue, Nummenmaa and colleagues conducted a computer experiment in which 700 volunteers took part in Finland, Sweden and Taiwan.
Specialists volunteers showed them two black silhouettes on a screen and then they asked them to think about one of 14 emotions: love, disgust, anger, pride etc. Then the volunteers were they noted areas of the body that they felt stimulated and the areas where emotion left them cold.
Even if not everyone felt the same way, scientists have found that, in general, the bodies emotion manifest in the same way to all people.
Antonio Damasio, a brilliant specialist in neuroscience, said he was “delighted” by the findings of Nummenmaa because they support what has been suggested for a long time: every emotion activates a distinct set of body parts and their mental recognition helps us consciously identify each emotion.