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Int J Psychophysiol. 1994 Jul;17(2):103-28.

Emotions and respiratory patterns: review and critical analysis.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The literature on emotions and respiration is reviewed. After the early years of experimental psychology, attention to their relationship has been sparse, presumably due to difficulties in adequate measurement of respiration. The available data suggest nevertheless that respiration patterns reflect the general dimensions of emotional response that are linked to response requirements of the emotional situations. It is suggested that the major dimensions are those of calm-excitement, relaxation-tenseness, and active versus passive coping. Research on the emotion-respiration relationships has been largely restricted to the correlates of respiration rate, amplitude, and volume. Finer distinctions than those indicated may well be possible if a wider range of parameters, such as the form of the respiratory cycle, is included in the investigation.

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