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Curr Opin Neurol. 2004 Feb;17(1):55-60.

Acute stroke effects on emotions: an interpretation through the mirror system.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurological Sciences, 1st University of Roma 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The most recent reports on emotional consequences of stroke are hereby reviewed and analyzed. In particular the interpretation of some neurological presentations found in stroke patients, such as athymormia, dysprosody, emotional incontinence and emotional blunting is discussed. As current theories on mental functions do not provide satisfactory explanations for the above syndromes, a novel interpretative framework is proposed, based on neuropsychological experimental data on the 'mirror system'.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Recent findings support both the fundamental role of the mirror system in imitative processes as well as the relevance of imitation for the emotional part of human personality and behavior.

SUMMARY:

The mirror system appears to be of paramount relevance for empathy and social behavior. The model of analysis-by-synthesis is here discussed, together with neurological presentations resulting from stroke induced impairments of the mirror system. Speculations for further researches are also proposed.

PMID:
15090878
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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