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Check out this huge interactive map tracking how specific sounds impact human emotions

Scientists have developed a huge interactive sound map, tracking the specific human emotions evoked by particular sounds.

The map contains sounds representing emotions ranging from fear to eroticism. Check it out here.

Photo: Dani Hansen

Scientists have mapped thirteen different human emotions and created pieces representing each one. The sound map is said to be “preserved across cultures” as it has the same effect on everyone, regardless of language.

The University of California, Berkeley, conducted research on how different cultures feel the same piece of music. The journal, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has finalised that emotions felt when listening to music can be roughly split into thirteen branches; fear, annoyance, anxiety, dream-like, beauty, joy, sadness, anxiety, relaxation, eroticism, energy, amusement, and defiance.

A UC Berkeley doctoral student in neuroscience, Alan Cowen, said, “Imagine organising a massively eclectic music library by emotion and capturing the combination of feelings associated with each track. That’s essentially what our study has done.”

Almost three thousand people participated in a survey conducted by a UC Berkeley group of psychologists. Participants came from the U.S. and China. They were asked about their emotional reaction to a number of songs. Song genres ranged from heavy metal to a marching band style. As a result, researchers finalised the thirteen emotions displayed in the sound map.

Cowen stated, “Music is a universal language, but we don’t always pay enough attention to what it’s saying and how it’s being understood.” 

“We wanted to take an important first step toward solving the mystery of how music can evoke so many nuanced emotions.”