Neurobiological Basis of Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is defined as the ability to accurately perceive and identify emotions in oneself and others, understand and use emotions to enhance cognitive processes, and effectively manage one's own emotions as well as those of others. Two major approaches to the construct of emotional intelligence have emerged. These two approaches can be broadly defined as the Trait and Ability Approaches. The Trait Approach, which is typically assessed via self-report measures such as that Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory, appears to be strongly related to existing models of personality and coping. The other major approach to EI follows an Ability Model, assuming that EI is similar to but distinct from other types of cognitive intelligence, and involves measurement of a variety of skills and abilities related to emotional processing. An understanding of the neurobiological substrate of emotional intelligence is beginning to emerge. One influential theory that is particularly relevant to the neurobiology of emotional intelligence is the "somatic marker hypothesis," yet there still remains a limited understanding of the neurobiological basis of EI. The proposed investigation will attempt to provide the most comprehensive study to date examining the behavioral, psychological, functional, and brain structural correlates of EI. The proposed study will use neuroimaging techniques to examine the relationship between current measures of EI, behavioral expression of emotionally competent capacities, brain functional responses, and structural cerebral organization.
The specific questions to be addressed and their associated hypotheses are:
- The two major approaches to EI (i.e., Trait vs. Ability) will show only modest, though significant positive correlations with one another.
- EI Trait measures will be highly correlated with measures of personality but weakly correlated with specific skills such as facial affect identification, emotional decision-making, and affectively based judgments, whereas EI Ability measures will correlate more highly with specific emotional skill measures.
- During functional MRI affective challenge tasks, EI scores will be negatively correlated with activity within the Somatic Marker Circuitry suggested by Damasio and colleagues (i.e., ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insular cortex), as suggested by the neural efficiency hypothesis.
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
|Official Title:||The Neurobiological Basis and Potential Modification of Emotional Intelligence Through Affective / Behavioral Training|
- Score on ability measure (MSCEIT) of emotional intelligence [ Time Frame: Measure administered on the day of the MRI scan ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||September 2009|
|Study Completion Date:||May 2012|
|Primary Completion Date:||May 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Healthy individuals ranging in age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and years of education