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Study Reveals Where Love is Felt in Our Body

Aalto University maps love’s locations and intensities in the body.

At every stage of life, love is essential for human development, connection, and the lessening of isolation. There are, of course, many different kinds of love that are related to different things, such as self-love, animals, parents, romantic and sexual, an friends. But how can we actually feel these many types? Do they vary in terms of how strongly we feel them?

The results of a poll that included 27 different types of demonstrated a continuum from weaker to greater feelings. The majority of manifestations were most pronounced in the head and varied in intensity elsewhere in the body.

By mapping the human experience of 27 different types of love, researchers from Finland’s Aalto University have conducted a new study that goes beyond previous research. Prior studies mostly focused on comprehending the neural, behavioral, and affective mechanisms underlying romantic and paternal.

Participants were instructed to color in body silhouettes to represent the locations of their bodily sensations during various types. They were also questioned on the sensation’s pleasantness, bodily and mental intensity, and touch-related aspects. Finally, participants were asked to rate how closely the various types of were related.

All forms of love, the researchers discovered, originated in the skull, but they varied in how they spread to other areas of the body—some spread to the chest, while others affected the entire body.

The universality and differences of the physical sensations of love are illuminated by key results.

Key Facts

  • 27 distinct sorts of love, including romantic, sexual, parental, and God or nature, were explored in the study.
  • All forms of love were most prominent in the head, although their scope and depth varied across the body.
  • There is a strong association between the emotional and physical intensity; the more intense the physical sense, the more intense and gratifying the emotional experience.

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