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Empathy linked to anger in traumatic brain injury?

Empathy linked to anger in traumatic brain injury?
29th June 2011

The lack of empathy seen in some traumatic brain injury patients, who may be using home care, could be linked to a reduced responsiveness to anger, research shows.

Researchers on a study published in journal Elsevier's Cortex used physiological reactions correlated with emotional empathy in a group of traumatic brain injury patients.

Activation of facial muscles and sweat glands were measured in response to happy and angry facial expressions in adults with traumatic brain injury and a group without.

While the control group mimicked the emotional facial expressions they saw and perspired more in response to angry faces, those in the traumatic brain injury group tended to score lower in emotional empathy and were less responsive.

Author Arielle De Sousa said: "This has important implications for understanding the impaired social functioning and poor quality of interpersonal relationships commonly seen as a consequence of TBI, and may be key to comprehending and treating empathy deficits post-injury."

This follows a warning from Bulkley Valley Brain Injury Association, who told bclocalnews.com that summer could see a rise in brain injury due to dangerous summer sports.

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