Mapping Our Emotions

13-21664-large-b12e81ec59ec77bd24c6abc7cf6a221346ed3bdd-s4-c85From this NPR storyWhen a team of scientists in Finland asked people to map out where they felt different emotions on their bodies, they found that the results were surprisingly consistent, even across cultures. People reported that happiness and love sparked activity across nearly the entire body, while depression had the opposite effect: It dampened feelings in the arms, legs and head. Danger and fear triggered strong sensations in the chest area, the volunteers said. And anger was one of the few emotions that activated the arms.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, who was not involved in this study, says he's "delighted" by Nummenmaa's findings... "People look at emotions as something in relation to other people, but emotions also have to do with how we deal with the environment — threats and opportunities."