Towards the neurobiology of emotional body language

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Mar;7(3):242-9. doi: 10.1038/nrn1872.


People's faces show fear in many different circumstances. However, when people are terrified, as well as showing emotion, they run for cover. When we see a bodily expression of emotion, we immediately know what specific action is associated with a particular emotion, leaving little need for interpretation of the signal, as is the case for facial expressions. Research on emotional body language is rapidly emerging as a new field in cognitive and affective neuroscience. This article reviews how whole-body signals are automatically perceived and understood, and their role in emotional communication and decision-making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Facial Expression
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Kinesics*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurobiology*
  • Social Perception