Rebecca Bächler

Swiss Confederation

Schweizer Jugend forscht

Mo and Lim, the reason behind feelings: A picture book on the neurobiology of emotions


The main purpose of this project is to show how a complex and scientific subject can be conveyed to children using lay language and illustrations as means of communication. Finding ways to both reduce a scientific subject and not taking away any core information was the main challenge of the process. With the help of interviews with children, discussions with specialists and scientific research, a picture book has been created digitally (available in print). The young protagonist of said book is confronted with difficult emotions during his day and the reader gets insight into what transpires the protagonist’s body. Core subjects of the book concern the neuronal and endocrine responses to an emotional stimulus. The selection of the affects that inflict these emotional triggers are based on the 9 affects theory by Silvan Tomkins. The book “Mo and Lim, the reason behind feelings” can help children understand that what they feel upon facing challenging situations is not only valid but also natural, which in turn may support them in expressing their emotions in an adequate manner rather than suppressing them or expressing them in a harmful way. This project was realized by Rebecca Bächler from Switzerland. Its first public appearance was at the national contest hosted by the “Schweizer Jugend forscht” organization (Swiss Youth in Science) in 2022 who facilitated the participation at the SIYSS.