Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synchronized brains: Feeling strong emotions makes people's brains 'tick together'

Date:
May 24, 2012
Source:
Aalto University
Summary:
Human emotions are highly contagious. Seeing others' emotional expressions such as smiles triggers often the corresponding emotional response in the observer. Researchers have now found that feeling strong emotions makes different individuals' brain activity literally synchronous.

Experiencing strong emotions synchronizes brain activity across individuals.
Credit: Image courtesy of Aalto University

Experiencing strong emotions synchronizes brain activity across individuals, a research team at Aalto University and Turku PET Centre in Finland has revealed.

Related Articles


Human emotions are highly contagious. Seeing others' emotional expressions such as smiles triggers often the corresponding emotional response in the observer. Such synchronization of emotional states across individuals may support social interaction: When all group members share a common emotional state, their brains and bodies process the environment in a similar fashion.

Researchers at Aalto University and Turku PET Centre have now found that feeling strong emotions makes different individuals' brain activity literally synchronous.

The results revealed that especially feeling strong unpleasant emotions synchronized brain's emotion processing networks in the frontal and midline regions. On the contrary, experiencing highly arousing events synchronized activity in the networks supporting vision, attention and sense of touch.

"Sharing others' emotional states provides the observers a somatosensory and neural framework that facilitates understanding others' intentions and actions and allows to 'tune in' or 'sync' with them. Such automatic tuning facilitates social interaction and group processes," says Adjunct Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from the Aalto University, Finland.

"The results have major implications for current neural models of human emotions and group behavior. It also deepens our understanding of mental disorders involving abnormal socioemotional processing," Nummenmaa says.

Participants' brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they were viewing short pleasant, neutral and unpleasant movies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aalto University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Nummenmaa, E. Glerean, M. Viinikainen, I. P. Jaaskelainen, R. Hari, M. Sams. Emotions promote social interaction by synchronizing brain activity across individuals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1206095109

Cite This Page:

Aalto University. "Synchronized brains: Feeling strong emotions makes people's brains 'tick together'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524112342.htm>.
Aalto University. (2012, May 24). Synchronized brains: Feeling strong emotions makes people's brains 'tick together'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524112342.htm
Aalto University. "Synchronized brains: Feeling strong emotions makes people's brains 'tick together'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524112342.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins