On this page you can learn more about the research of Embodied Emotions.
Research Goals

The project Embodied Emotions explores how emotions were embodied by people in the past compared with the present. The project specifically seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. How did the embodiment of emotions differ in the ancient times due to cultural differences, stemming from differences in the ways the human body, physiology and emotions were understood?
  2. Does one of the oldest Semitic languages, Akkadian, verbalise different emotions with similar body-related expressions as modern languages?
An Interdisciplinary Approach

Embodied Emotions seeks innovative roads of cross-disciplinary collaboration between historical, linguistic and behavioural (neuro)scientific emotion research, by pairing the study of written, textual evidence from one of the oldest Semitic languages (Akkadian, used in the Mesopotamia civilization from the third to the first millennium BCE) with experimental approaches and tools that usually involve living participants (from different cultural backgrounds).

Our aim is to expand our knowledge of the commonalities and variability in the ways humans experience and understand emotions as embodied feelings, by investigating how ancient linguistic data could be used to “visualize” embodied experiences of ancient speakers with tools such as the “bodily sensation maps”. With these cross-disciplinary approaches, we hope to expand current approaches to studying emotions in both fields of research (ancient history and behavioural sciences).