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Sharing the moment: the duration of embraces in humans


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.

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

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Correspondence to Emese Nagy.

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Nagy, E. Sharing the moment: the duration of embraces in humans. J Ethol 29, 389–393 (2011).

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