Crying  

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“Anyone who listens to a child’s crying and understands what he hears will know that it harbours dormant psychic forces, terrible forces different from anything commonly assumed. Profound rage, pain and lust for destruction.”--Culture and Value (1970) by Wittgenstein

This page Crying is part of the sound series.  Illustration: Laocoön and His Sons ("Clamores horrendos" detail), photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.
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This page Crying is part of the sound series.
Illustration: Laocoön and His Sons ("Clamores horrendos" detail), photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Crying, (also referred to as sobbing, weeping, bawling, or wailing) is shedding tears as a response to an emotional state in humans. One need only shed a single tear to be crying. The act of crying has been defined as "a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures". A related medical term is lacrimation, which also refers to non-emotional shedding of tears.

A neuronal connection between the lacrimal gland (tear duct) and the areas of the human brain involved with emotion has been established. Some scientists believe that only humans produce tears in response to emotional states while others disagree. Charles Darwin wrote in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals that the keepers of Indian elephants in the London Zoo told him that their charges shed tears in sorrow.

Tears produced during emotional crying have a chemical composition which differs from other types of tears. They contain significantly greater quantities of the hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, Leu-enkephalin, and the elements potassium and manganese.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Crying" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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