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How sounds, shapes, speech and body movements convey emotions through shared ownership

How sounds, shapes, speech and body movements convey emotions through shared ownership

Angry drawings and sad features of the study 3, after smoothing and detection of angles. The corners are marked with red "+" signs. Among the study participants, the angry drawings had an average of 23.3 angles, while the sad drawings had an average of 6.6 angles. Credit: Graph compiled by Beau Sievers. (Figure 5 of the paper).

The logos of Death Metal bands often look suspenseful, while romance novels often have a swirly script. The irregular or curvilinear nature of a font can be used to express an emotional tone. A Dartmouth study published in the Acts of the Royal Society B finds that sounds, shapes, speech and body movements convey emotional excitement in the same way through the senses. The results explain why almost anything can have an emotional tone, including art, architecture, and music.

"Our study aimed to better understand how we express and read our emotional arousal, which is fundamental to our fundamental emotional state.We wanted to see if there was a low level mechanism allowing us to decode the information from the emotional excitement from movements and sounds. " people and animals do, "says lead author Beau Sievers, a postdoctoral student in psychology at Harvard University, who was a graduate student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in Dartmouth at the time of writing. study. "Our results show how the spectral centroid, or the balance between high frequency energy and low frequency energy present in sounds, shapes and movements, allows us to express and to understand the emotional arousal, "adds Sievers.

The spectral centroid is essentially a multisensory measure of the healer. The findings explain why Zen gardens and brutalist architecture have very different emotional effects, as well as the reason why clouds and lullabies seem to go together even if one is seen and l? Another, we associate them according to the spectral centroid.

"In a series of studies, we show that people automatically sense the frequency spectrum of everything that goes through their heads and calculate the average – the spectral centroid," says Thalia Wheatley, lead author, science professor psychological and cerebral in Dartmouth. and principal investigator of the Dartmouth Social Systems Laboratory. "This is how people quickly identify the amount of emotional activation in a person's voices and movements, but also in abstract forms and sounds, such as why the thorny forms seem to convey superior excitement rounded shapes, "she added.

To test whether the Spectral Centroid is used to express and understand the emotional awakening, the researchers conducted five mini-studies, some of them asking participants to make judgments about the emotional awakening of the participants. shapes, sounds and movements. The researchers tested whether the spectral center of gravity of the stimulus could be used to predict participants' emotional excitement judgments. Here are the highlights of three of the mini-studies:

  • The authors used a computer program to randomly create hundreds of shapes and sounds. Participants were invited to look at shapes, listen to sounds and rate their emotional arousal. As reported in the study, the shapes and sounds with a high spectral center of gravity were associated with highly awakening emotions (anger, excitement), while the forms and sounds of the lower spectral centroid were associated with emotions. little awakening (sad, peaceful).
  • Participants were invited to draw angry, sad, enthusiastic or peaceful forms. The researchers then estimated the spectral centroids of the drawings by counting the number of corners they had. The results revealed that the angry and excited forms had between 17 and 24 turns on average, while the sad and peaceful forms had between 7 and 9 turns on average. The spectral center of gravity could be used to predict the emotional excitation of shapes with an accuracy of almost 80%.
  • The researchers examined actual recordings of the body movements of people or people speaking (in German), to see if the spectral centroid of voices and movements could be used to predict judgments of the participants' emotional excitement. . The researchers discovered that higher spectral centroids predicted the judgment of higher emotional arousal.

The researchers explain that multisensory associations with emotions have long been known, but that the reason they occur has been a mystery until now.

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More information:
Beau Sievers et al. A multi-sensory code for emotional arousal, Acts of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1098 / rspb.2019.0513

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Dartmouth College

How sounds, shapes, speech and body movements convey emotions through shared ownership (July 10, 2019)
recovered on July 11, 2019
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