We may make mistakes interpreting the emotions of others, but our brain can corrects us

When we are sad the world seemingly cries with us. On the contrary, when we are happy everything shines and all around people's faces seem to rejoyce with us. These projection mechanisms of one's emotions onto others are well known to scientists, who believe they are at the core of the ability to interpret and relate to others. In some circumstances, however, this may lead to gross mistakes (called egocentricity bias in the emotional domain EEB), to avoid them cerebral mechanisms are activated about which still little is known.

Giorgia Silani, a neuroscientist at SISSA, in collaborartion with an international group of researchers have identified an area in the brain involved in this process. The results were published on The Journal of Neuroscience.

In their experiments researchers have first measured the likeliness of subjects to make these kinds ok . Then, thanks to , a cerebral area has been identified in which activity is clearly more intense when the subjects are making EEB mistakes.

The responsible area is the right supramarginal gyrus, a relatively unknown location to social neurosciences.

In a third round of experiments researchers have even tried to "sabotage" the activity of this cerebral area, by temporarily shutting it down through , a (harmless) procedure which can shortly silence the electrical activity of neurons. Silani and colleagues observed that during "shutdowns" the subjects made significantly more EEB mistakes than average, thus confirming the crucial role of this cerebral area.

"The results of our study", Silani explains "show for the first time the physiological markers of highly adaptive social mechanisms, such as the ability to suppress our own emotional states in order to correctly evaluate those of others. Future research will allow us to understand how these abilities develop and decay over time, and how we can train them".

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Magnetic stimulation to improve visual perception

Jun 05, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), an international team led by French researchers from the Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau (CNRS) has succeeded in enhancing the visual abilities ...

Is the human brain capable of identifying a fake smile?

Oct 07, 2013

Human beings follows others' state of mind From their facial expressions. "Fear, anger, sadness, and surprise are quickly displeasure inferred in this way," David Beltran Guerrero, researcher at the University ...

Recommended for you

What happens in our brain when we unlock a door?

5 hours ago

People who are unable to button up their jacket or who find it difficult to insert a key in lock suffer from a condition known as apraxia. This means that their motor skills have been impaired – as a result ...

Sport can help multiple sclerosis patients

8 hours ago

A study developed at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (Spain) has preliminarily concluded that people with multiple sclerosis may reduce perceived fatigue and increase mobility through a series of ...

Obama's BRAIN initiative gets more than $300 million

13 hours ago

President Barack Obama's initiative to study the brain and improve treatment of conditions like Alzheimer's and autism was given a boost Tuesday with the announcement of more than $300 million in funds.

User comments