Finnish researchers have attempted to pinpoint the ways in which our emotions affect our bodies. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, asked 773 participants to indicate how certain emotionally charged materials made them feel. The researchers argue that human bodies feel emotions in broadly consistent ways.
The participants were first shown words, stories, movies, and expressions, and then asked to highlight on computer-modeled human silhouettes the areas of the body they felt decreasing or increasing activity. Where sensations were intense, participants would color first red, and then yellow as the feelings got stronger; where the sensations were dulled, they would color shades of blue.