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Researchers map emotional intelligence in the brain
Date:1/22/2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. A new study of 152 Vietnam veterans with combat-related brain injuries offers the first detailed map of the brain regions that contribute to emotional intelligence the ability to process emotional information and navigate the social world.

The study found significant overlap between general intelligence and emotional intelligence, both in terms of behavior and in the brain. Higher scores on general intelligence tests corresponded significantly with higher performance on measures of emotional intelligence, and many of the same brain regions were found to be important to both. (Watch a video about the research.)

The study appears in the journal Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience.

"This was a remarkable group of patients to study, mainly because it allowed us to determine the degree to which damage to specific brain areas was related to impairment in specific aspects of general and emotional intelligence," said study leader Aron K. Barbey, a professor of neuroscience, of psychology and of speech and hearing science at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois.

A previous study led by Barbey mapped the neural basis of general intelligence by analyzing how specific brain injuries (in a larger sample of Vietnam veterans) impaired performance on tests of fundamental cognitive processes.

In both studies, researchers pooled data from CT scans of participants' brains to produce a collective, three-dimensional map of the cerebral cortex. They
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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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