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

October 10, 2013

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".

Explore further: I'm ok, you're not ok: The right supramarginal gyrus plays an important role in empathy

Related Stories

I'm ok, you're not ok: The right supramarginal gyrus plays an important role in empathy

October 10, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Egoism and narcissism appear to be on the rise in our society, while empathy is on the decline. And yet, the ability to put ourselves in other people's shoes is extremely important for our coexistence. ...

Magnetic stimulation to improve visual perception

June 5, 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 ...

Where does dizziness come from? Researchers pinpoint a key area for 'upright perception' in the human brain

October 8, 2013
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have pinpointed a site in a highly developed area of the human brain that plays an important role in the subconscious recognition of which way is straight up and which way is down.

Doctoral dissertation studies the use of light in measuring cerebral circulation

April 12, 2013
Tiina Näsi, a researcher of biomedical engineering at Aalto University, studied in her doctoral thesis the use of light in measuring the brain's blood circulation. This optical measurement may in the future help discover ...

Is the human brain capable of identifying a fake smile?

October 7, 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 of La Laguna, ...

Study finds brain system for emotional self-control

May 9, 2013
Different brain areas are activated when we choose to suppress an emotion, compared to when we are instructed to inhibit an emotion, according a new study from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Ghent University.

Recommended for you

Faulty support cells disrupt communication in brains of people with schizophrenia

July 20, 2017
New research has identified the culprit behind the wiring problems in the brains of people with schizophrenia. When researchers transplanted human brain cells generated from individuals diagnosed with childhood-onset schizophrenia ...

Scientists reveal how patterns of brain activity direct specific body movements

July 20, 2017
New research by Columbia scientists offers fresh insight into how the brain tells the body to move, from simple behaviors like walking, to trained movements that may take years to master. The discovery in mice advances knowledge ...

Team traces masculinization in mice to estrogen receptor in inhibitory neurons

July 20, 2017
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have opened a black box in the brain whose contents explain one of the remarkable yet mysterious facts of life.

New study reveals contrasts in how groups of neurons function during decision making

July 19, 2017
By training mice to perform a sound identification task in a virtual reality maze, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) have identified striking contrasts in how groups of neurons ...

Healthy heart in 20s, better brain in 40s?

July 19, 2017
Folks with heart-healthy habits in their 20s tend to have larger, healthier brains in their 40s—brains that may be better prepared to withstand the ravages of aging, a new study reports.

Individual insight into brain networks

July 19, 2017
Harvard scientists have gained new insights into how the brain networks important for thought and remembering are organized in individual people, bringing the notion of using brain scans to help personalize medical treatments ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.