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Bodily maps of emotions

Citation/credit: Nummenmaa, L., Glerean, E.,  Hari, R., Hietanen, J.K. Bodily maps of emotions, The National Academy of Sciences, November 27, 2013 Reprinted under terms and conditions of PNAS

Abstract: Emotions coordinate our behaviour and physiological states during survival-salient events and pleasurable interactions. Even though we are often consciously aware of our current emotional state, such as anger or happiness, the mechanisms giving rise to these subjective sensations have remained unresolved. Here we used a topographical self-report tool to reveal that different emotional states are associated with topographically distinct and culturally universal bodily sensations; these sensations could underlie our conscious emotional experiences. Monitoring the topography of emotion-triggered bodily sensations brings forth a unique tool for emotion research and could even provide a biomarker for emotional disorders.

Maps of bodily sensations associated with different emotions. Hot colors show activated, cool colors deactivated regions. Credit: Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, Riitta Hari, and Jari Hietanen. Citation/Overview

Comments: We have populated the website with a wide range of information related to the building and health sciences including physiological responses to the ergonomics of the environment. I personally find this new study of great interest as it is another dimension in understanding bodily sensations. Hope you find it interesting!



  1. Nummenmaa, L., Glerean, E., Hari, R., Hietanen, J.K. Bodily maps of emotions, The National Academy of Sciences, November 27, 2013

  2. Bodily maps of emotions, additional materials


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Indoor environments: Self assessment
Built to code: What does it mean for consumer thermal comfort?
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Do-It-Yourself HVAC - Should you do it?
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Radiant Installations - The Good, Bad and Ugly
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Thermal Comfort Surveys - Post Occupancy, Part II

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