Navigation Links
To remember the good times, reach for the sky
Date:3/31/2010

When people talk about positive and negative emotions they often use spatial metaphors. A happy person is on top of the world, but a sad person is down in the dumps. Some researchers believe these metaphors are a clue to the way people understand emotions: not only do we use spatial words to talk about emotional states, we also use spatial concepts to think about them.

Motion and emotion

To test this link between vertical space and emotion, in a first experiment Casasanto and Dijkstra asked students to move glass marbles upward or downward into one of two cardboard boxes, with both hands simultaneously, timed by a metronome. Meanwhile, they had to recount autobiographical memories with either positive or negative emotional valence, like 'Tell me about a time when you felt proud of yourself', or 'a time when you felt ashamed of yourself''.

When prompted to tell positive memories, participants began recounting their experiences faster during upward movements, but when prompted to tell negative memories they responded faster during downward movements. Memory retrieval was most efficient when participants' motions matched the spatial directions that metaphors in language associate with positive and negative emotions.

'Meaningless' motions modify memory

The second experiment tested whether these seemingly meaningless motor actions could influence the content of people's memories. Participants were given neutral-valence prompts, like 'Tell me about something that happened during high school', so they could choose to retell something happy or sad. Their choices were determined, in part, by the direction in which they were assigned to move marbles. Moving marbles upward encouraged students to recount positive high school experiences like 'winning an award', but moving them downward to recall negative experiences like 'failing a test'.

'These data suggest that spatial metaphors for emotion aren't just in language', Casasanto says, 'linguistic metaphors correspond to mental metaphors, and activating the mental metaphor 'good is up' can cause us to think happier thoughts.'

Since simple motor actions can trigger this mental metaphor, could there be practical implications? 'Who knows', says Casasanto, 'it would be great if this basic research can help people think more positively in the world beyond the laboratory marble therapy?'


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Casasanto
Daniel.Casasanto@mpi.nl
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Remember magnesium if you want to remember
2. You must remember this: Scientists develop nasal spray that improves memory
3. Old and young brains rely on different systems to remember emotional content
4. Circadian clock may be critical for remembering what you learn, Stanford researchers say
5. No comfort in comfort foods during tough economic times, says Moore School of Business study
6. In troubled economic times, BioSquare 2009 successfully serves as business and innovation starter
7. U of M expert says Earths health reaching critical tipping point
8. Seamounts reach a pinnacle in upcoming issue of Oceanography
9. RadMD reaches 150th clinical trial
10. Spallation Neutron Source first of its kind to reach megawatt power
11. National new biology initiative offers potential for remarkable and far-reaching benefits
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision ... Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete ... MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions ... of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... BANGALORE, India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a ... ), and Onegini today announced a partnership to ... banking solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... banks to provide their customers enhanced security to ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new ... prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, ... financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will ... its drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional ... has been an incredible strategic partner to us – ... would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: