Have you ever felt your heart ache with sadness, or the flutter of nervous butterflies in your stomach? How about the all-over tingle of happiness or the pit-of-the-stomach emptiness of depression? We sneer with disgust and puff our chests with pride – all these may be true in a metaphorical sense and we certainly have the language connections to back them up. However, recent research suggests that our emotions have real physiological reactions to go with them.
It has long been accepted that emotions induce some sort of physiological reaction – cheeks burning with shame, for example, or palms that sweat with nerves. Now though, researchers in the Biomedical Engineering department of Aalto University, Finland have mapped exactly which parts of the body are affected by which emotions.