Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body - Olga Khazan - the Atlantic
The correlations between the subjects’ different body maps were strong—above .71 for each of the different stimuli (words, stories, and movies). Speakers of Taiwanese, Finnish, and Swedish drew similar body maps, suggesting that the sensations are not limited to a given language.
So what are we seeing in these illustrations? The authors note that, measured physiologically, most feelings only cause a minor change in heart rate or skin temperature—our torsos don’t literally get hot with surprise.
Instead, the results likely reveal subjective perceptions about the impact of our mental states on the body, a combination of muscle and visceral reactions and nervous system responses that we can’t easily differentiate. Feeling jealous may not truly make us red in the face, for example, but we certainly might feel like it does.
At the very least, the authors might have created the most scientifically detailed emoji ever—something they can feel proud in the chest about.