Emotions move us in the same places, study says

December 30, 2013 8:47 PM

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Emotions move us in the same places, study says

The clenched-fist, hair-on-fire feeling you get when gripped by anger, the warm-all-over sensation of happiness, the bilious wave that gnaws at your throat with disgust: these are the cues the body sends up to ready the mind for what comes next: fighting, hugging or withdrawal. And they appear to vary little across cultures, says a new study, which draws a detailed map of emotions and the distinct bodily sensations that accompany them.

The corporal topography of emotion is likely to have evolved over millions of generations, and even if the mind isn't listening, those somato-sensory cues make sense: with anger, fear or surprise, our heartbeat picks up in readiness for flight or fight, and so our chest feels tight. The muscles in o...

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