Journal of Ethology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 389–393

Sharing the moment: the duration of embraces in humans

Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s10164-010-0260-y

Cite this article as:
Nagy, E. J Ethol (2011) 29: 389. doi:10.1007/s10164-010-0260-y


Moments of some gestures may stand out from our constantly flowing life-time as memorable experiences. We feel subjective moments as our psychological present. Few behavioral acts can express a shared subjective experience so easily observable than people’s embraces after a significant life-event. Spontaneous embraces from the 2008 Summer Olympics Games were analysed, and were found to last for about 3 s, comparable to previously described perceptual and motor units in humans and also in other primate species. These 3-s segments of time are suggested to be the basic temporal building blocks of our behaviourally expressed subjective experiences.


Movement patternsIntersubjectivityEvent durationsHumansPhenomenology

Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK