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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Embodied emotion: the influence of manipulated facial and bodily states on emotive responses

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A growing body of evidence suggests that certain facial expressions and postures are associated with emotional and motivational responses. This review discusses behavioral, neuroscientific, and cognitive research connecting these bodily movements with emotive responses. General bodily feedback theories of emotion have suggested that manipulated facial expressions and postures influence emotive reactions to stimuli as well as physiological responses such as heart rate, skin conductance, and the temperature of blood entering the brain. More recent evidence suggests that manipulated bodily states influence prefrontal cortical activation and amygdala activation. Even further evidence has suggested that manipulated bodily states influence cognitive processes, such as the speed at which individuals read emotional content, the speed at which they classify information as emotional, and the extent to which they determine emotional information as threatening. Bodily feedback theories may also suggest clinical applications. Bodily feedback theories of emotion therefore have generated research showing that bodily expressions play a pivotal role in our emotive experiences. WIREs Cogn Sci 2015, 6:461–473. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1370 This article is categorized under: Psychology > Emotion and Motivation

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