Emotional and cognitive empathy disturbances in right hemisphere - ischemic stroke - damaged patients. SPECT imaging pilot study
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between cerebral blood flow (CBF) and empathy in patients suffering from ischemic brain injury. Empathy is an essence of human relationships. It inspires people to meet experiences and needs of others. Its emotional and cognitive components subserve a broad range of adaptive social behaviors. 21 right hemispheric - ischemic stroke - patients were examined by the use of two psychological methods: Questionnaire Measure Emotional Empathy and Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) has been applied to determine the correlates of lesion location and some aspects of emotional and cognitive empathy.Hemispheric asymmetry indexes were also calculated and correlated with empathy scores. Significant negative correlation were found between cerebral blood flow in left basal ganglia and Fantasy Scale, left parietal lobe and Personal Distress, while significant positive correlation was seen between cerebral blood flow in right parietal lobe and Appreciation of the Feelings of Unfamiliar and Distant Others.
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