Changes in emotional empathy, affective responsivity, and behavior following severe traumatic brain injury

  title={Changes in emotional empathy, affective responsivity, and behavior following severe traumatic brain injury},
  author={Arielle de Sousa and Skye McDonald and Jacqueline Rushby},
  journal={Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology},
  pages={606 - 623}
This study was designed to examine the relationship between deficits in empathy, emotional responsivity, and social behavior in adults with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). A total of 21 patients with severe TBI and 25 control participants viewed six film clips containing pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral content whilst facial muscle responses, skin conductance, and valence and arousal ratings were measured. Emotional empathy (the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale, BEES: self-report) and… 
Subjective emotional experience and physiological responsivity to posed emotions in people with traumatic brain injury.
Normal subjective responses were found in the context of reduced psychophysiological responding to the posed expressions, suggesting that another mechanism can contribute to normal feedback effects after TBI.
Impaired emotional contagion following severe traumatic brain injury.
Measuring Affective Processes In Traumatic Brain Injury
Self-reported measures were also associated with overall performance on measures of affective processing, and the effect of valence appears to be domain specific and research within one domain may not generalize to other cognitive-affective processes.
Alexithymia and Empathy Predict Changes in Autonomic Arousal During Affective Stimulation
High alexithymia and high empathy scores were linked to increased autonomic arousal at the onset of emotional stimulation, but were distinguishable in the rates of habituation of the evoked arousal.
Facial expressiveness and physiological arousal in frontotemporal dementia: Phenotypic clinical profiles and neural correlates
While bvFTD patients show an overall dampening of responses, SD patients appear to show incongruous facial emotional expressions, demonstrating that psychophysiological responses are an important mechanism underpinning normal socioemotional functioning.
Using self-report measures such as the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale
Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to physical, neuropsychological, and emotional deficits that interfere with the individual’s capacity to return to his or her former lifestyle. This review
Brain volume loss contributes to arousal and empathy dysregulation following severe traumatic brain injury
Emotion Regulation After Traumatic Brain Injury: Distinct Patterns of Sympathetic Activity During Anger Expression and Recognition
Impaired emotion regulation in TBI participants could be related to increased levels of autonomic system activity during emotional experience, but anger feelings in these participants can also be modulated with the use of emotion regulation strategies, including adaptive strategies such as reappraisal.
Empathy for people with similar experiences: Can the perception-action model explain empathy impairments after traumatic brain injury?
The results suggest that intact cognitive functioning and physiological responses are not necessary for normal experiences of empathy after TBI, and that the PAM has relevance with respect to explaining self-reported empathy for the experiences of others, but cannot explain the role of physiological responses associated with empathy.
Impairments in Social Cognition Following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
  • S. McDonald
  • Psychology
    Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • 2013
There is evidence that facets of social cognition are impaired in this population of TBI patients, and research into remediation needs to be guided by the growing empirical base for understanding social cognition that may yet reveal how deficits dissociate following TBI.


Alexithymia and emotional empathy following traumatic brain injury
The results suggest an inverse relationship between alexithymia and emotional empathy, with significant moderate negative correlations found between TAS-20 and BEES scores, with TAs-20 total scores accounting for a significant amount of variance in BEes scores.
Inability to empathize following traumatic brain injury
A high proportion of TBI patients lack the ability to empathize, but the deficit does not appear related to any specific cognitive impairment and cannot be predicted by measures of affect.
Angry responses to emotional events: The role of impaired control and drive in people with severe traumatic brain injury
This study provides support for the use of formal measures of disinhibition on neuropsychological tests as a corollary for emotion disinhibited in individuals with severe, chronic TBI.
The Neural Substrate of Human Empathy: Effects of Perspective-taking and Cognitive Appraisal
The view that humans' responses to the pain of others can be modulated by cognitive and motivational processes, which influence whether observing a conspecific in need of help will result in empathic concern, an important instigator for helping behavior, is supported.
Loss of emotional experience after traumatic brain injury: findings with the startle probe procedure.
The authors used affective modulation of the eyeblink startle response to examine the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on emotional reactions to pictures. Participants were 13 individuals with
Emotional Empathy as Related to Mimicry Reactions at Different Levels of Information Processing
The hypotheses of this investigation were based on conceiving of facial mimicry reactions in face-to-face interactions as an early automatic component in the process of emotional empathy. Differences
Automatic mimicry reactions as related to differences in emotional empathy.
Differences between subjects high and low in emotional empathy appeared to be related to differences in automatic somatic reactions to facial stimuli rather than to Differences in their conscious interpretation of the emotional situation.
Impairment in Cognitive and Affective Empathy in Patients with Brain Lesions: Anatomical and Cognitive Correlates
Results indicate that patients with prefrontal lesions (especially those with lesions involving the orbitoprefrontal and medial regions) were significantly impaired in both cognitive and affective empathy as compared to parietal patients and healthy controls.