Journal of Ethology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 389–393 | Cite as

Sharing the moment: the duration of embraces in humans

  • Emese NagyEmail author
Short Communication


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 patterns Intersubjectivity Event durations Humans Phenomenology 



The author wishes to thank to Rachel McCollum for her help in the reliability coding.


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK

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