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Emotionale Tränen

Emotional tears


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.


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.

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Correspondence to E.M. Messmer.

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Messmer, E. Emotionale Tränen. Ophthalmologe 106, 593–602 (2009).

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  • Basale Tränen
  • Reflektorische Tränen
  • Induktionszentren
  • Telencephalon
  • Krankhaftes Weinen


  • Basal tears
  • Reflex tears
  • Induction centers
  • Telencephalon
  • Pathological crying