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Dynamic Sensory-Motor Adaptation
to Earth Gravity


Psychology of the Embrace: How Body Rhythms

Communicate the Need to Indulge or Separate

Sabine C. Koch 1,2,* ID and Helena Rautner 3

1 Research Institute for Creative Arts Therapies (RIArT), Alanus University Alfter, 53347 Alfter, Germany

2 Department of Therapy Sciences, SRH University Heidelberg, 69123 Heidelberg, Germany

3 Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany;

* Correspondence:; Tel.: +49-2222-9321-1803

Received: 26 August 2017; Accepted: 19 November 2017; Published: 29 November 2017

Abstract: In the context of embodiment research, there has been a growing interest in phenomena

of interpersonal resonance. Given that haptic communication is particularly under-researched,

we focused on the phenomenon of embracing. When we embrace a dear friend to say good-bye at

the end of a great evening, we typically first employ smooth and yielding movements with round

transitions between muscular tensing and relaxing (smooth, indulging rhythms), and when the embrace

is getting too long, we start to use slight patting (sharp, fighting rhythms with sharp transitions) on the

back or the shoulders of the partner in order to indicate that we now want to end the embrace.

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