Researchers in Finland have found that people from around the world have the same bodily reactions to emotions by studying heat maps.
Ever heard the expression, ‘hot headed?’ Well, heat imaging on people from around the world who were experiencing anger showed increase heat activity in the head area.
When someone was feeling happy, heat was shown evenly dispersed from head to toe, however those experiencing depression showed minimal heat activity.
“We often think the emotions are something that happen only in the mind, but there’s also lots of evidence suggesting that they also happen in our bodies,” Lauri Nummenmaa, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Aalto University School of Science.
700 participants from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan were used for the study and researchers found that emotions manifested in the same parts of the body despite participants being from different cultural backgrounds.
“Our data show bodily sensations associated with different emotions are so specific that, in fact, they could at least in theory contribute significantly to the conscious feeling of the corresponding emotion,” said Nummenmaa.
The researchers are hoping that these body maps can help diagnose and treat emotional disorders.