Jan 25, 2024

Bodily maps of emotions

Posted by in category: mapping

Great science stands the test of time: After 10 years of its publication, this paper with is still listed as trending in.

@PNASNews webpage! +3.5M views & 1k citations.

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 (n = 701) 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. These maps were concordant across West European and East Asian samples. Statistical classifiers distinguished emotion-specific activation maps accurately, confirming independence of topographies across emotions.

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