In a recent study, 800 men and women watched over 2,000 "emotionally evocative" video clips. Using novel statistical models, researchers discovered that 27 different emotional values were needed to accurately show how hundreds of these individuals reported feeling after watching these videos. The emotions included joy, envy, and pride. It seemed, too, that each emotion related to every other emotion. They weren't "emotional islands" standing alone but were all related. Researchers say that there are "smooth gradients of emotion between, say, awe and peacefulness, horror and sadness, and amusement and adoration. Emotional experiences are so much richer and more nuanced than previously thought," said Alan Cowen, a doctoral student in neuroscience at UCAL/Berkeley. Several other studies have also been conducted, all with very similar results. Researchers found using statistical modeling and visualization techniques, that they were able to organize" the emotional responses to each video into a semantic atlas of human emotions. On the map, each of the 27 distinct categories of emotion corresponded to a particular color. We sought to shed light on the full palette of emotions that color our inner world,” Cowen said.
The hope is that the study findings will help other scientists and engineers capture, more precisely, the emotional states that underlie moods, brain activity, and expressive signals leading to improved psychiatric treatments, an understanding of the brain basis of emotion, and technology responsive to our emotional needs.
I find the study of the brain and all its emotions, fascinating. The more science learns about the workings of the human brain, the better able they are to help mankind lead a fuller, richer life. Emotions play a vital role in how humans behave and think. The emotions you feel each day can compel you to take action, both good and bad, as well as influence the decisions you make...large and small. Emotions serve a wide variety of purposes. Emotions can be fleeting, persistent, powerful, and complex. They can even be life-changing. They are an important tool and resource that can help us navigate, and interact in a meaningful way, within our social world.