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Woman becomes 'hyper empath' after surgery

Posted on Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 | Comment icon 21 comments

Doctors were intrigued by the effects of the procedure. Image Credit:
A woman who underwent a brain operation is now believed to possess a heightened sense of empathy.
The woman, who has been referred to only as 'Susan', had been suffering from epileptic seizures for most of her life and doctors had taken the decision to remove part of her temporal lobe in an effort to alleviate her symptoms.

Not only did this work but after the surgery she discovered that she had developed an enhanced ability to read the emotions of other people and experienced heightened physical sensations when she herself was emotionally moved by something.

Her case was investigated by a French research team lead by Aurélie Richard-Mornas who conducted a series of tests and experiments to determine her empathic awareness.

They eventually concluded that Susan was suffering from a condition known as "hyper empathy" brought on by the removal of brain matter involved in the understanding of other people's emotions.

"The present case report suggests that a new permanent cortical organization of attention and emotion processes has developed in our patient that may be responsible for an enhancement of affective theory of mind," they wrote.

Source: Wired | Comments (21)

Tags: Empathy, Brain

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by pallidin on 14 August, 2014, 18:02
If I act poor, will she give me her money? (Nothing against the truly poor, of course... I would help out)
Comment icon #13 Posted by theotherguy on 20 August, 2014, 18:09
If I act poor, will she give me her money? (Nothing against the truly poor, of course... I would help out) She would probably be able to tell that you're not poor.
Comment icon #14 Posted by jugoso on 12 September, 2014, 22:26
What the world needs now is Empathy, sweet Empathy! Caring about others more is a step in the right direction IMO.
Comment icon #15 Posted by CandyBlo0d on 26 November, 2014, 12:52
What the world needs now is Empathy, sweet Empathy! Caring about others more is a step in the right direction IMO. Everyone needs to remove part of their temporal lobe too! HAHA. Problems to this apathetic world are answered.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Scrunchkruckets on 17 December, 2014, 19:41
goes to show we need our temporal lobe to be balanced.. we will all be on the anti depressants and suffering really bad with our nerves if we didn't have that LoL..
Comment icon #17 Posted by MrMoundShroud on 17 December, 2014, 21:33
I think some people on this thread don't get what an empath is or are just jaded/petty. Some people have an ability to pick up on things that others don't, emotional or facial ticks and are able to process faster than others. Perfect example is with poker, for those who have played heavily and semi-/professionally. There is an infinite amount of abilities people can tap into and to think we are limited is backwards thinking. Sucks to be this woman though.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Scrunchkruckets on 20 December, 2014, 11:56
Comment icon #19 Posted by AtlantisRises on 22 December, 2014, 6:22
So she feels more after having part of her brain removed? That seems like something you could to people who were, say, killers. If you make them feel more, then there's a good chance they would stop said behavior. Much better chance that killers will stop said behaviour if you kill them.
Comment icon #20 Posted by MrMoundShroud on 30 December, 2014, 4:38
The word "killer" is misused and should be replaced with "psychopath". I don't get why the crap that is even apart of this conversation. What I took from this is that if people are injured they compensate. Her brain is trying to function "normally", but doesn't have its previous used neural pathways. It's like when a person who goes blind, their auditory synapse responses increase. I definitely would have her sit next to me at poker.
Comment icon #21 Posted by astralwitch on 22 April, 2015, 5:09
That is probably way too much to handle.

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