The relationship between dispositional empathy and prefrontal cortical functioning in patients with frontal lobe epilepsy

Amara Gul, Hira Ahmad

Abstract


Background & Objective: Rehabilitation focuses brain-behavior relationship which highlights interaction between psychological and neurobiological factors for better patient care. There is a missing link in the literature about socio-cognitive aspects of frontal lobe epilepsy. Our objective was to examine prefrontal cortical functioning (PCF) and empathic abilities in patients with frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE). Further, we analyzed whether any relationship between components of dispositional empathy and PCF exists in patients with FLE.

Methods: The study was designed in an experimental paradigm. Sixty patients with FLE were recruited from Sheikh Zayed and Jinnah hospital, Pakistan. Sixty healthy individuals in response to an advertisement took part in the study as control subjects. Participants completed interpersonal reactivity index. Following they performed clock drawing test and word-color identification task switching experiment.

Result: Patients with FLE demonstrated weaker PCF (i.e., cognitive flexibility and executive function) as compared to healthy control subjects. Patients with FLE scored lesser on cognitive empathy as compared to healthy control subjects. On contrary, there was no significant difference between patient and control group on affective empathy. Cognitive not affective empathy was potential predictor of PCF.

Conclusion: Cognitive empathy is a significant marker of prefrontal cortical functioning (PCF)  in FLE. Higher cognitive empathy would lead to efficient PCF.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.331.11742

How to cite this:Gul A, Ahmad H. The relationship between dispositional empathy and prefrontal cortical functioning in patients with frontal lobe epilepsy. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(1):200-204.   doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.331.11742

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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