This is Mo.
Here’s Mo a little more chilled out. As he experiences more intense feelings – he becomes more brightly colourful. We try to share the way that the emotional systems can be expressed in his posture and character, as well as using colour to show activation in the areas of the body involved. It feels important to emphasise that Mo experiences all the different emotional systems, we have not created different characters for each emotional system. Human beings have the innate capacity to experience these emotional systems, whilst we may have learnt to favour some over others, they are all within us. This site is about sharing information about these and ideas about how to bring all your different emotional systems to life, in a way that helps to direct you according to your own internal compass, and to enable you to thrive. The final version of Mo with his PLAY system activated shows the activation of this joyful emotional system is throughout our body from our head to our toes.
We use Mo’s posture, character, colours, and design to try to illustrate the internal and external experience of the emotional systems.
The body maps of emotion, from a study that found that emotions are experienced bodily in the same way across cultures (Nummenmaa et al, 2013), have been very helpful in providing further evidence of the internal activation of emotions. Her team, based in Finland, carried out a group of experiments where candidates were shown words, movies, facial expressions and short stories online, all designed to activate a variety of basic and complex emotions (without referencing the emotion directly to prevent bias in the results). Following this, participants, who were from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan, were asked to colour in the silhouettes in the areas of the body where they themselves had experienced an increase (in red and yellow) or a decrease (in blue or black) in sensitivity. The results are shown in the diagram above. The authors suggest that “Bodily sensation maps likely reflect universal sensation patterns triggered by activation of the emotion systems, rather than culturally specific conceptual predictions and associations between emotional semantics and bodily sensation pattern.” click here for scientific article or click here for Wired.co.uk summary of article
Learned feelings and behaviours can block the underlying emotional systems.
As we consider the way that emotional systems are blocked, we will meet anxious Mo. We have tried to represent the emotional systems being blocked in with anxiety with circles holding in the differently coloured systems. Instead of radiating outwards with vivacity and authenticity, the systems are turned inwards and are deadened or deadening. This has different consequences dependent on the system, and the chronicity and intensity of the activation. We hope Mo helps bring the systems a little more to life. Please let us know if you have any Mo related comments!
Mo was created and named by my good friend and illustrator Chris Mannion, who I can’t thank enough for the time and effort he has gone to, to create this rambunctious, emotionally attuned character.