Parallel but independent reduction of emotional awareness and corpus callosum connectivity in older age
A new research paper
The two halves of the human brain are specialised for different functions. While the left half of our brain is known to be responsible for language processing, it has long been assumed that the right half is specialised for the evaluation of our experiences by emotions. As consequence, talking about our emotions, that is, making emotions accessible for language, does require collaboration between the two brain halves. This collaboration is thought to take place via the neurons that connect the two brain halves with long axons. These axons form the corpus callosum, the major fibre tact connecting our two halves of the brain. The present paper examines (a) whether differences between individuals in the size and microstructure of the corpus callosum can explain differences in the awareness of emotions between individuals, as well as (b) whether the reduction of the size of the corpus callosum in older age, might contribute to a reduced emotional awareness in older individuals. The study was did not confirm either of the two hypothesis. Thus, cross-anatomical differences in the corpus callosum cannot explain differences in emotion awareness between individuals.
Click the image to go to the paper