Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Optical recording of goosebumps

C. Kaernbach
Goosebump Team

[Start] [Why goosebumps] [Interest in goosebumps] [Recording Device] [Analysis Software] [Spectral Analysis] || [Team]

What is so interesting about goosebumps?

Goosebumps result from poignant and often memorable emotional experiences. If we knew more about the common factors in these situations, we would be closer to an understanding of the emotional underpinnings of life. An objective tool to quantify goosebumps would help emotion researchers to improve their studies on awe-inspiring moments. Basic questions have to be addressed first, such as
  • Do goosebumps spread in a specific way, or do they occur simultaneously?
  • Are "being cold" goosebumps different from "emotional" goosebumps?
  • How are goosebumps related to other measures of arousal such as heart rate, or electrodermal activity?
Brain mechanisms underlying goosebump elicitation will be studied, as well as the interaction of cognitive and emotional processes that lead to such moving moments.

However, goosebump research does not only tackle basic questions. Differential psychologists are interested in the relation of certain personal traits, in regard to the willingness of an individual to allow goosebumps to occur, which in turn is relevant to clinical psychology. And finally, a goosebump recording system could have great impact on the music market: Wouldn't it be great if you could prove that your band makes goosebump music, quantifying the duration and amount of goosebumps of the listeners? ;-)
Kiss through barbed wire.
Award-winning poster against social exclusion and racism.
Picture: Medea Initiative für Kunst und Medien