Brain Surgery Gives Woman “Hyper Empathy”

mindShould this procedure be made mandatory? Via the Huffington Post:

A woman developed “hyper empathy” after having a part of her brain called the amygdala removed in an effort to treat her severe epilepsy, according to a report of her case.

Doctors removed parts of her temporal lobe, including the amygdala. The surgery is a common treatment for people with severe forms of temporal lobe epilepsy.

After the surgery, the woman reported a “new, spectacular emotional arousal,” that has persisted for 13 years to this date. Her empathy seemed to transcend her body — the woman reported feeling physical effects along with her emotions, such as a “spin at the heart” when experiencing empathic sadness or anger. She reported these feelings when seeing people on TV, meeting people in person, or reading about characters in novels.

She also described an increased ability to decode others’ mental states, including their emotions. Her newly acquired ability to empathize was confirmed by her family, and she performed exceptionally well in psychological tests of empathy, the researchers said.

The case is the first in the scientific literature describing this kind of emotional change after removing parts of the temporal lobe.

  • American Cannibal

    My empathy bums me out enough. I can’t imagine having to deal with hyper-empathy.

    • ÿ

      I can think of a couple of remedies for that. One, in particular, is herbal…

      • American Cannibal

        Oh, yes. Thank you for the tip. I’m already on a daily herbal remedy. Works wonders, keeps me sane.

  • notalent

    Next time Dick Cheney goes in for a blackened Baboon heart transplant this procedure could be thrown in…

  • BuzzCoastin

    the amygdala is considered to be the seat of fear
    and the control center for our desire to hord
    the Homeland gov gang
    and their owners the banksters
    need to undergo this procedure

    • Simon Valentine

      and here i had considered something about some post about “the mind killer”
      it seems i no longer

  • Will Mickelson

    Where can my girlfriend sign up?

  • sgtdoom

    Bad news for us, but good news for the Global Banking Cartel which, no doubt, has their biopharmaceutical companies hard at work on a drug replicating such a condition, making sheeple even more malleable.

    • Lookinfor Buford

      Just wait till the biomechanical amygdala upgrade is en vogue. I, for one, will be writing a rather devious virus..

  • heinrich6666

    No article can be interesting enough to make me want to click on The Huffington Post.

  • Anarchy Pony

    What no Firefly references in here yet? I am disappointed in us as a group.

  • Calypso_1

    It would be interesting to see if the patient had any change in spiritual belief structure as it has been show that the highly religious tend to act less out of empathy than the those w/o such beliefs.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      Good point. On the topic of cultural conditioning i dont think empathy or any of the emotional constructs can be given a clear origin/location/base in only the physical world (brain). Parts of the brain have loosely been identified with some emotions but the mental sphere and social sphere also heavily contribute, creating a complex synthesis of sorts. Also the brains neuro-plasticity has shown how certain areas of the brain take over from other areas in more of a symbiotic inter-connected structure rather than a individual parts/ mechanical structure. I am as curious as anyone where this research takes us.

  • kowalityjesus

    maybe all the kids on the rave scene now will do amygdala lobotomies!