Category Archives: Emotion

The Social Brain

Dr Muireann Irish uncovers the part of the brain that underpins social cognitive deficits in semantic dementia, further unraveling mysteries behind the disease. It may sound like the subject matter of a science fiction movie, but mind-reading is a process in which we regularly engage. On a daily basis, whenever we interact in social scenarios, we go beyond our own […]

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Beyond motor symptoms in MND

Motor neurone disease (MND), as discussed in previous posts, is not a disease of pure motor symptoms. MND can also affect one’s ability to perform complex judgments (e.g. financial decision-making) and leads to changes in behaviour (e.g. a person once very active and driven can become apathetic). These non-motor symptoms and behavioural changes often go unrecognised and underdiagnosed. In a […]

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Emotional control circuitry and schizophrenia

In addition to the ‘classic’ symptoms of psychosis which include delusions and hallucinations, people with schizophrenia often have problems with ‘executive functions’. This is a cognitive system that resides predominantly in the frontal lobes and regulates other cognitive processes. It is typically invoked when automatic processes need to be overruled to produce appropriate goal-directed behaviour. Another domain that is often […]

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Musical cognition: the demise of ‘left-brain right-brain’?

When looking at a human face we take it for granted that we can distinguish a happy face from a sad face and a scary face from a relaxed face. People with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias often exhibit deficits in this area, and while this is interesting from a cognitive perspective, it has real world implications for the families of people […]

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