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Emotions Mapped in the Body

Publication date: 08 January 2014

I came across an article describing how Finnish researchers had mapped the expression of different emotions in the human body. The researchers gave subjects emotional stimuli, then asked them to point out areas of their body where they felt a change, for each of 14 emotions, both positive and negative. (So actually they were mapping not emotions but the conscious perception of emotions, or to follow Antonio Damasio's distinction, feelings.) The findings are interesting, and a useful aid for therapists and biofeedback practitioners who teach their clients how to recognise feelings.

My first thought when I saw the graphic was that they must have taken thermal images of the body before and after emotional stimuli, and mapped the changes. I don't know if that would be possible, but it would be an even more interesting study. Would such a hypothetical image correlate with the conscious perception maps?

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