Hugs are a great way to express affection. A study has found that if you are feeling emotional, you are more likely to embrace others from the left side than from the right. Hugs, which have been part of social interactions between humans since birth, demonstrate emotions such as affection, love, sadness or afraid, depending on the side we embrace others. Hugs occur in both positive and neutral contexts: we hug when we are sad or afraid, or simply when saying hello. ‘Hugging shows that you care about a person and that you support that person through good times and bad. You are more likely to embrace others from the left side if you are feeling emotional.’ While most people showed an increased preference for right-sided hugs, left-sided hugs occurred more frequently in positive as well as negative situations, the study showed. "This is because of the influence of the right hemisphere, which controls the left side of the body and processes both positive and negative emotions," said lead author Julian Packheiser from the Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum in Germany. "When people hug, emotional and motor networks in the brain interact and cause a stronger drift to the left in emotional contexts," Packheiser added. Moreover, predictions about which hand will be on top during an embrace can be based on the participants' handedness and footedness, the researchers observed. "Handedness and footedness can indeed predict the lateralisation of an embrace," Packheiser said. Right-handed people usually tend to hug the other person from the right side, much more often than left-handed people. However, a strong left-hand drift was observed in an embrace between two men, even in neutral situations. But, "our interpretation is that many men consider embraces between men to be something negative; therefore, they tend to perceive hugs as negative even in a neutral situation, such as saying hello," explained Sebastian Ocklenburg from the varsity. Accordingly, the right hemisphere is activated due to negative emotions and affects the motion to the left. For the study, published in the journal Psychological Research, the team examined more than 2,500 hugs to determine the nature of positive and affectionate hugs. In order to study neutral embraces, they analysed over 500 clips of actors who offered blindfolded hugs to strangers on the street. Moreover, the researchers asked 120 test participants to hug a mannequin after listening to various positive, negative and neutral short stories via headphones.Source: IANS << Emotional Images Sway People More Than Emotional Words Measles-Rubella Vaccination Campaign Launched in Odisha >> Recommended Reading Emotional Images Sway People More Than Emotional Words Emotive images are more powerful than emotive words. Researchers hypothesize that emotionally charged pictures may speak more directly to us than words. READ MORE Cannabis Abuse Associated with Negative Emotionality Cannabis abuse (CA) is associated with psychopathology, including negative emotionality and higher risk of psychosis, particularly with early age of initiation. READ MORE Brain Structure of Boys Shows Callous and Unemotional Traits Boys have callous and unemotional traits in their brains, reveals a research. The traits are related to the deficits of conscience and empathy. READ MORE Suicidal Tendencies In Teenagers can be Linked to Emotional Neglect High school teenagers are more prone to having suicidal thoughts and tendencies when compared to peers whose parents are emotionally available READ MORE Is Your Man Moody? Women get confused by the behavior of men in their lives. It is time they realize that men too have frequent mood swings. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Hearing Loss Calculator Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Drug Interaction Checker More News on: Is Your Man Moody?