Der Ophthalmologe

, Volume 106, Issue 7, pp 593–602 | Cite as

Emotionale Tränen

  • E.M. MessmerEmail author


Emotionale Tränen, ein ausschließlich menschliches Kommunikationsmittel, sind höchst komplex und wenig erforscht. Für die Produktion werden wahrscheinlich die gleichen Nerven,- Rezeptor,- und Transmitterstrukturen benutzt wie für basale und reflektorische Tränen. Jedoch müssen zunächst Stimuli in einem kognitiven/sozialen Kontext empfangen und von „Induktionszentren“ im Telencephalon detektiert werden, um an Effektorzentren weitergeleitet zu werden. Erhöhte Proteinkonzentrationen, Prolaktinwerte, Mangan-, Kalium- sowie Serotoninwerte zeichnen emotionale Tränen aus. Unterschiedliche Theorien versuchen den Sinn und Nutzen emotionaler Tränen zu erklären. Mannigfaltige Einflüsse wie ethnische Zugehörigkeit, sozialer Status, Beruf, Hormonsituation und Geschlecht sowie die individuelle Reizschwelle entscheiden, ob ein Mensch in die Gruppe der „Weiner“ oder der „Nichtweiner“ gehört. Manipulative Tränen sind eine starke Waffen, um Menschen aus dem Gleichgewicht zu bringen. Der Begriff „Krokodilstränen“ wird sowohl für manipulative Tränen als auch für Tränen im Rahmen einer aberranten gustolakrimalen Tränenproduktion benutzt. Krankhaftes Weinen tritt im Rahmen von Depressionen auf und als prolongierte Weinkrämpfe ohne Anlass und Emotion im Rahmen einer ZNS-Erkrankung. Fehlendes emotionales Weinen wird bei kongenitalen, meist syndromalen Fehlbildungen beobachtet.


Basale Tränen Reflektorische Tränen Induktionszentren Telencephalon Krankhaftes Weinen 

Emotional tears


Emotional tears, an exclusively human means of communication, are complex and rarely the subject of scientific research. The same nerves, receptors, and transmitters seem to be involved in their production as those used for basal and reflex tears. However, stimuli must be received in a cognitive/social context, detected by “induction centers” in the telencephalon, and forwarded to effector centers. Increased concentrations of protein, prolactin, manganese, potassium, and serotonin have been detected in emotional tears. Various theories try to explain the reason for and benefit of emotional tears. A number of factors, such as ethnic group, social status, profession, hormonal situation, gender, and individual threshold, influence whether an individual is a “crier” or a “noncrier.” Manipulative tears are a strong weapon for unbalancing other people, and the expression “crocodile tears” is used for both manipulative tears and aberrant gustolacrimal tears. Pathological crying occurs during depression, but it also occurs in the context of central nervous system disease as prolonged crying fits without cause or emotion. Absent emotional tearing is observed in congenital, often syndromal, disorders.


Basal tears Reflex tears Induction centers Telencephalon Pathological crying 



Keine Angaben.


  1. 1.
    Aisaka K, Mori H, Ogawa T, Kigawa T (1985) Effects of mother-infant interaction on maternal milk secretion and dynamics of maternal serum prolactin levels in puerperium. Nippon Sanka Fujinka Gakkai Zasshi 37:713–720PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Axelsson A, Laage-Hellman JE (1962) The gusto-lachrymal reflex. The syndrome of crocodile tears. Acta Otolaryngol 54:239–254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Becht M, Vingerhoets AJ (1997) Why we cry and how it affects mood. Psychosom Med 59:92Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bennett MP, Lengacher C (2007) Humor and laughter may influence health IV. Humor and immune function. Evid Based Complement Altern MedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bogorad FA (1979) The symptom of crocodile tears. F. A. Bogorad. Introduction and translation by Austin Seckersen. J Hist Med Allied Sci 34:74–79PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brodsky MC, Fray KJ (1998) Brainstem hypoplasia in the Wildervanck (cervico-oculo-acoustic) syndrome. Arch Ophthalmol 116:383–385PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brunish R (1957) The protein components of human tears. AMA Arch Ophthalmol 57:554–556PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cantu RC, Drew JH (1966) Pathological laughing and crying associated with a tumor ventral to the pons. Case report. J Neurosurg 24:1024–1026PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cornelius RR (2001) Crying and catharsis. In: Vingerhoets AJ, Cornelius RR (eds) Adult Crying. Psychology Press, London, pp 199–212Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dahl H, Dahl C (1985) Hydrogen ion concentration of tear fluid in newborn infants. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 63:692–694Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Damasio AR, Grabowski TJ, Bechara A et al (2000) Subcortical and cortical brain activity during the feeling of self-generated emotions. Nat Neurosci 3:1049–1056PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dartt DA (1994) Regulation of tear secretion. Adv Exp Med Biol 350:1–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Darwin C (1872) The expression of the emotions in man and animals. John Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Delp MJ, Sackeim HA (1987) Effects of mood on lacrimal flow: sex differences and asymmetry. Psychophysiology 24:550–556PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ding C, Walcott B, Keyser KT (2003) Sympathetic neural control of the mouse lacrimal gland. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 44:1513–1520PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Efran JS, Spangler TJ (1979) Why grown-ups cry: a two factor theory and evidence from The miracle worker. Motiv Emotion 3:63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Feinstein A, Feinstein K, Gray T, O’Connor P (1997) Prevalence and neurobehavioral correlates of pathological laughing and crying in multiple sclerosis. Arch Neurol 54:1116–1121PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frey WH (1985) Crying. The mystery of tears. Winston Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Frey WH, Sota-Johnson D, Hoffman C, McCall JT (1981) Effect of stimulus on the chemical composition of human tears. Am J Ophthalmol 92:559–567PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fullard RJ (1988) Identification of proteins in small tear volumes with and without size exclusion HPLC fractionation. Curr Eye Res 7:163–179PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fullard RJ, Snyder C (1990) Protein levels in nonstimulated and stimulated tears of normal human subjects. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 31:1119–1126PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fullard RJ, Tucker DL (1991) Changes in human tear protein levels with progressively increasing stimulus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 32:2290–2301PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gachon AM, Richard J, Dastugue B (1982) Human tears: normal protein pattern and individual protein determinations in adults. Curr Eye Res 2:301–308PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gilbard JP, Rossi SR, Heyda KG, Dartt DA (1990) Stimulation of tear secretion by topical agents that increase cyclic nucleotide levels. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 31:1381–1388PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gross JJ, Frederickson BL, Levenson RW (1994) The psychophysiology of crying. Psychophysiology 31:460–468PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Guirgis MF, Wong AM, Tychsen L (2002) Congenital restrictive external ophthalmoplegia and gustatory epiphora associated with fetal isotretinoin toxicity. Arch Ophthalmol 120:1094–1095PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hastrup JL, Baker JG, Kraemer DL, Bornstein RF (1986) Crying and depression among older adults. Gerontologist 26:91–96PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Heiligenhaus A (2007) Anatomie und Physiologie der Tränendrüse. In: Messmer EM (Hrsg) Diagnose und Therapie des Trockenen Auges. UNI-MED, Bremen, S 13–18Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Holzberg N (2000) Ovid „Liebeskunst. Ars Amatoria“. Artemis & Winkler, DüsseldorfGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Horsten M, Becht M, Vingerhoets A (1997) Crying and menstrual cycle. Psychosom Med 59:102–103Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ishii H, Nagashima M, Tanno M et al (2003) Does being easily moved to tears as a response to psychological stress reflect response to treatment and the general prognosis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis? Clin Exp Rheumatol 21:611–616PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kasar PA, Khadilkar VV, Tibrewala VN (2007) Allgrove syndrome. Indian J Pediatr 74:959–961PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kimata H (2006) Emotion with tears decreases allergic responses to latex in atopic eczema patients with latex allergy. J Psychosom Res 61:67–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kottler JA (1997) Die Sprache der Tränen. Diana, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kraemer DL, Hastrup JL (1986) Crying in natural settings: global estimates, self-monitored frequencies, depression and sex differences in an undergraduate population. Behav Res Ther 24:371–373PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Kropiunigg U (2003) Indianer weinen nicht. Kösel, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Labott SM, Ahleman S, Wolever ME, Martin RB (1990) The physiological and psychological effects of the expression and inhibition of emotion. Behav Med 16:182–189PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Lawrenson JG, Birhah R, Murphy PJ (2005) Tear-film lipid layer morphology and corneal sensation in the development of blinking in neonates and infants. J Anat 206:265–270PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lovell DM, Hemmings G, Hill AB (1993) Bereavement reactions of female Scots and Swazis: a preliminary comparison. Br J Med Psychol 66(Pt 3):259–274PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Lutz T (2000) Tränen vergiessen. Über die Kunst zu weinen. Europa, HamburgGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Martin XD, Brennan MC (1994) Serotonin in human tears. Eur J Ophthalmol 4:159–165PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Mathers WD, Lane JA, Zimmerman MB (1996) Tear film changes associated with normal aging. Cornea 15:229–234PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    McCoy FJ, Goodman RC (1979) The crocodile tear syndrome. Plast Reconstr Surg 63:58–62PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Miller MT, Stromland K, Ventura L (2008) Congenital aberrant tearing: a re-look. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 106:100–115PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Miller NR (1985) Anatomy, Physiology and Testing of normal lacrimal secretion. In: Tansill BC (ed) Walsh and Hoyt’s clinical neuro-ophthalmology. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, pp 458–556Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Minn D, Christmann D, De Saint-Martin A et al (2002) Further clinical and sensorial delineation of Schinzel-Giedion syndrome: report of two cases. Am J Med Genet A 109:211–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Mircheff AK (1989) Lacrimal fluid and electrolyte secretion: a review. Curr Eye Res 8:607–617PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Montagu A (1959) Natural selection and the origin and evolution of weeping in man. Science 130:1572–1573PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Mori H, Mori K (2007) A test of the passive facial feedback hypothesis: we feel sorry because we cry. Percept Mot Skills 105:1242–1244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Morley JK (1937) Some things I believe. Macmillan Publishers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Moss H, Damasio AR (2001) Emotion, cognition and the human brain. Ann N Y Acad Sci 935:98–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Murube J, Murube L, Murube A (1999) Origin and types of emotional tearing. Eur J Ophthalmol 9:77–84PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Mutch JR (1944) The lacrimation reflex. Br J Ophthalmol 28:317–336PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Parvizi J, Anderson SW, Martin CO et al (2001) Pathological laughter and crying: a link to the cerebellum. Brain 124:1708–1719PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Patel V (1993) Crying behavior and psychiatric disorder in adults: a review. Compr Psychiatry 34:206–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Phan KL, Wager TD, Taylor SF, Liberzon I (2004) Functional neuroimaging studies of human emotions. CNS Spectr 9:258–266PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Rohatgi J, Gupta VP, Mittal S, Faridi MM (2005) Onset and pattern of tear secretions in full-term neonates. Orbit 24:231–238PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Sack RA, Beaton A, Sathe S et al (2000) Towards a closed eye model of the pre-ocular tear layer. Prog Retin Eye Res 19:649–668PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Sariri R, Ghafoori H (2008) Tear proteins in health, disease and contact lens wear. Biochemistry (Mosc) 73:381–392Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Sjogren H, Eriksen A (1950) Alacrimia congenita. Br J Ophthalmol 34:691–694PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Snir M, xer-Siegel R, Bourla D et al (2002) Tactile corneal reflex development in full-term babies. Ophthalmology 109:526–529PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Solter AJ (1998) Warum Babys weinen. Kösel, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Stern ME, Gao J, Siemasko KF et al (2004) The role of the lacrimal functional unit in the pathophysiology of dry eye. Exp Eye Res 78:409–416PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Tiffany JM (2003) Tears in health and disease. Eye 17:923–926PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Toker E, Yenice O, Ogut MS et al (2002) Tear production during the neonatal period. Am J Ophthalmol 133:746–749PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    van Haeringen NJ, Glasius E (1976) The origin of some enzymes in tear fluid, determined by comparative investigation with two collection methods. Exp Eye Res 22:267–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    van Tilburg MA, Becht MC, Vingerhoets AJ (2003) Self-reported crying during the menstrual cycle: sign of discomfort and emotional turmoil or erroneous beliefs? J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 24:247–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Vingerhoets AJ, Assies J, Poppelaars K (1992) Prolactin and weeping. Int J Psychoanal 39:81–82Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Vingerhoets AJ, Cornelius RR, van Heck GL, Becht ML (2000) Adult crying: A model and review of the literature. Rev Gen Psychol 4:354–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Vucicevic-Boras V, Juras D, Gruden-Pokupec JS, Vidovic A (2003) Oral manifestations of triple A syndrome. Eur J Med Res 8:318–320PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Wagner RE, Hexel M, Bauer WW, Kropiunigg U (1997) Crying in hospitals: a survey of doctors’, nurses‘ and medical students‘ experience and attitudes. Med J Aust 166:13–16PubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Walter S, Behrens-Baumann W (2007) Zusammensetzung des Tränenfilms. In: Messmer EM (Hrsg) Diagnose und Therapie des Trockenen Auges. UNI-MED, Bremen, S 32–37Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Wood EC, Wood CD (1984) Tearfulness: a psychoanalytic interpretation. J Am Psychoanal Assoc 32:117–136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Augenklinik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenDeutschland

Personalised recommendations