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Brain-injured patients can relearn emotions
Date:2/10/2009

ts that the majority of the information we gather about somebody else's emotional state is based on their facial expression," said Willer. "We gather a little from the voice, we gather a little from body language, but the majority comes from the face."

FAR participants will view faces on a computer screen equipped with cues that direct them to concentrate on specific elements of each face "Look at the eyes. What are the eyes doing? What is the mouth doing?" and asks them to name the emotion.

"To know what the other person is feeling," noted Willer, "You have to know what you're feeling. Individuals who don't know how to recognize anger won't recognize it in themselves, and in fact can't produce it. If you hold a mirror in front of them and say, 'Show me an angry face,' it's really interesting to watch them moving their face around and trying to come up with an angry face, and they can't."

The SEI intervention uses examples to teach what a person is likely to be feeling in various situations. Participants randomized to this group are asked to read stories on the computer that describe events, along with character's beliefs, wants and behaviors. From this information, participants are asked to infer the emotions imbedded in the story. Willer uses the admittedly simplistic "joking-at-the-funeral" example, to describe how a story intervention works. "These stories might say: "You're going to a funeral and you're meeting the person whose husband died. What is that person likely to be feeling?"

The control group will receive computer-based educational instruction in areas such as banking or applying for a job, and will learn how to use Word and Excel programs and how to search the Internet.

All participants will receive treatments three times a week for three weeks. They will be tested immediately at the end of the treatment, and at three and six months post-treatment. Willer and colleagues will ev
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Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
7-166-455-000-1417
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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