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The Neural Bases of Key Competencies of Emotional Intelligence

Author(s): Frank Krueger, Aron K. Barbey, Kevin Mccabe, Maren Strenziok, Giovanna
Zamboni, Jeffrey Solomon, Vanessa Raymont, Jordan Grafman and Vernon Smith
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,
Vol. 106, No. 52 (Dec. 29, 2009), pp. 22486-22491
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
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For example.G. We tested a unique sample of Emotional that enable intelligence (El)sophisticated us to engage in refers to ainformation set of competencies pro. El should administering the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelli- be viewed as complementary to cognitive intelligence and. The resultsof emotionally relevant information (11. This controversy is captured in the cal tests to assess patients' cognitive functioning and intelligence.. and F. For example.. remarkably little is known about the neural strates of El are virtually unknown. hinders the understanding and man- forms of punishment in a legal and moral decision making (20. VA. two great works of Adam Smith. that unintentional benefits would stem from individuals' pursuit of their own wants and 0. El is the competency to understand (to realize the causes of emotions) and manage (to figure out effective strategies that emotion | neuroeconomics | prefrontal cortex | social cognition | apply emotions helping to achieve a goal) emotions. when gence Test (MSCEIT) (28). Bethesda. Germantown. Cognitive Neuroscience Section.and gence. and therefore. 2009) Emotional intelligence (El) refers to a set of competencies that arethe pivotal role of El in coping with the challenges of Despite essential features of human social life. we administered standard neuropsychologi- other-regarding behavior. and therefore provided the basis MD 20892-1440. 29 Jan 2018 18:39:03 UTC All use subject to http://about. George Mason University. National Institutes of Health. it is well establishedsubstrates that the of EL However. 2009 | vol. F. and Jordan Grafmanb-1 aKrasnow Institute for Advanced Study. there is an ongoing debate about the injuries (PHIs) due to low velocity shrapnel wounds. argued that a free Results market economy would be most productive and beneficial to Damaged brain regions in our patient sample were outlined society. dorsolateral PFC damage 23-27). Aron K. 22486-22491 | PNAS | December 29.M. For exam- revealed that key competencies underlying El depend onple. and abnormal El behavior to examine two key competencies of El: (/) Strategic El changes in mood and personality (13-16) as well as as the competency to understand emotional information demonstration and to of poor decisions in laboratory tasks ranging from apply it for the management of the self and of othersmoral judgment to economic games (17-21). which is a prospective. Intelligence Test as a valid standardized psychometric measure of problems in interpersonal interactions. Jeffrey Solomonff Vanessa Raymont9. 1To whom correspondence should be addressed. A. 22). 22030. 1 073/pnas.pnas. both for specific benevolent acts and for stabilizing the general The authors declare no conflict of interest.G. aging of emotional information. the and (//) Experiential El as the competency to perceive emotional dorsolateral informa. Giovanna Zambonie. dlPFC (n = 17) and vmPFC (n = 21) lesion (experimental) sidered as an instance of a standard intelligence and how El can groups and a non-head-injured (n = 29) group (control. George Mason University.K.091 25681 06 This content downloaded from 148. We studied a unique sample of combat(8). relative uniformity.jstor. CA. level of education. and therefore. we examine two key competencies of El by and integration of emotional information. Chapman .168.B. Georgetown University. In addition. We evaluated the components of general intelligence. as the most recently evolved brain region prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a crucial role in human social-emo- tional behavior. The exper- distinctive contributions of cognitive intelligence and El in imental and control groups were matched with respect to age. 52 www. esized long-term follow-up study of veterans with focal penetrating to mediate knowledge crucial to manage emotionally head relevant information. University of Oxford.PFC (dlPFC) is hypothesized to support the per- ception tion and to apply it for the integration into thinking. fMedical Numerics. analyzed with their fellow human beings. dCenter f or the Study of Neuroeconomics. Baltimore. In contrast.K. and J. Experimental Medicine Division of NDM. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. MD 20876.. social order. and ^Department of Radiology. Fairfax.202. it is well established that the pre- frontal cortex (PFC). the ventromedial PFC (vmPFC) is hypoth- from the Vietnam Head Injury Study. This military population offers a number of advantages.13 on Mon. In conclusion. and J. designed and performed research. in his work Theory of Moral Sentiments (6).Z. this information as a guide for thinking and behavior (1).106 | no. wrote the paper. DC 20057.. recent evidence demonstrates the recruitment of the dlPFC distinct for perceiving the permissibility or fairness of observed behavior neural PFC substrates. In his work Wealth of Nations Our findings demonstrate that key components of El are me- (5). In contrast.K. NC) enrich the discussion of human capacities (2-4). Barbeybcf Kevin McCabed. and (ii) head injury | Experiential El is the competency to perceive (to correctly identify how people are feeling) and use (to integrate feelings into thinking) emotions (Fig. Maren Strenziok6. and preinjury variables for Although emotional and cognitive intelligence form important comparison with postinjury performance. there is a lively debate in performances of combat veterans (n = 67) and divided them into diverse academic disciplines about whether El should be con. K. Oxford OX3 9DU. MD 21287-0807 Communicated by Vernon Smith. First. In particular. ventromedial PFC damage diminishes ranging from economic games to judgment about appropriate Strategic El. Washington.K. and J. brain-damaged veterans from the Vietnam Head Injury Study cessing about emotions and emotion-relevant stimuli and to use (29). VA 22030. G. Fairfax. Second. M. Orange. diminishes Experiential El. using computed tomography (CT) scans.R. United Kingdom. L4). including its size. We administered the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional social incompetence.. vmPFC damage results in injuries. and preinjury general intelli- serving adaptive functions that potentially benefit self. hinders the perception In this study.S. and lesion locations Smith essentially emphasized an emotional intelligent view that sympathy arising from an innate desire to identify with the emotions of others led people to strive to maintain good relations Author contributions: F. The neural bases of key competencies of emotional intelligence Frank Krueger1'0. handedness. 2009 (received for review April 2. in based upon the presence or absence of local penetrating head behavioral economics. October 30.S. provide a more complete understanding of ability-measure of emotional intelligent behavior: (i) Strategic human intelligence. 'Department of Psychology. Although the neural socialsub- daily life (7). E-mail: grafmanj@ninds.. and therefore. V. a valid standardized psychometric considered together. plays a crucial role in human social-emotional behavior veterans (9-12). Smith essentially emphasized a cognitive intelligent view diated by distinct PFC subregions. Johns Hopkins University.

Strategic ΕΙ: χ2 = 0. -0.09. (B) Coronal views of a healthy adult brain (top and third row). Strategic ΕΙ: χ2 = 2.68.949]. t3e = -0.724. vmPFC group lesion overlap (second row). but a significant Ρ = 0. the right hemisphere is on the reader's left. Ρ = 0. and perception [Visual Object and Space indicating a double dissociation in patients' El performances Perception Battery (VOSP): t36 = 0. 31).633.29.76. The individual that appears in A did not participate in the study.13 on Mon. Planned followed-up independent-samples t tests revealed that the vmPFC group was significantly impaired in Discussion Strategic El (t36 = -2.578.457].028). Ρ < 0.001). Ρ = 0. The color indicates the number of individuals with damage ΕΙ: χ2 = 0.jstor. 2009 | vol. The color indicates the number of individuals with damage to a given voxel. 1. t36 = -0.684.68. t36 = 0. [Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III): Full-scale IQ5 h6 = 0. Trail Making. Ρ = 0. Despite the ΕΙ performance differences. Ζ Group (dIPFC versus vmPFC) as a between-subject factor. The coronal views of lesion overlay maps for (left. Ρ = 0.92. Ρ = 0. Ρ < 0.97. Ρ = 0. Ρ = 0.64. right. (A) Example items for Experiential and Strategic El are shown.59. HI ison to the performances of the NC group.348. to a given voxel. were determined using the Analysis of Brain Lesions (ABLe) El performance differences were observed among lesion subgroups software (30. Ρ = 0. t3e = -0. t36 =].26. verbal IQ.202.451]. working memory. Ρ < 0. t36 = . 29 Jan 2018 18:39:03 UTC All use subject to http://about.168. 0.75.226). memory. 52 | 22487 This content downloaded from 148. Ρ = 0.65. Ρ = 0.555] (Table 1). and bilateral) (vmPFC: Experiential ΕΙ.938). Ρ = the damage in the dIPFC and vmPFC groups are displayed in Fig. Ρ = 0. The picture is not originally taken from the MSCEIT Ε-IQ test. Ρ = 0. the vmPFC and The Experiential El and Strategic El scores of the dIPFC and dIPFC did not differ on measures of cognitive intelligence vmPFC groups were normalized (z-transformation) in compar.01.110) and Group (Fh36 = 0. PNAS | December 29. χ2 = 0. (Fig. Neural substrates of El. Ρ = 0.106 | no. A mixed two-way 2 (El) X 2 (Group) repeated measures ANO VA was applied with performance IQ.030) and the dIPFC group was The goal of this study was to investigate the neural bases of key significantly impaired in Experiential El (t3e = 2. (Q Normalized means (z-scores) and standard errors (SEM) for the Experiential and Strategic El scores of the vmPFC and dIPFC lesion groups are presented. and dIPFC group lesion overlap (bottom row) are shown in Montreal Neurological Institute space.Fig.58. The memory [Wechsler Memory Scale-III (WMS-III): General analysis showed no significant main effects for El (F^36 = 2. verbal comprehension [Token Test (TT): t36 = interaction (El X Group) effect (Fh36 = 22. executive functioning I [Delis Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS): Tower El (Experiential versus Strategic) as a within-subject factor and Task. 1C). and dIPFC: Experiential IB. In each coronal slice.501.76. No competencies of EL Based on the assumption that the PFC plays Kruegeretal.527.

4 D-KEFS (Tower) 10. WMS-III.4 ± 12.6 ± 13.3 11. D tive functioning.9 Understanding Emotion 87. and abnormal changes in mood and person-although the dIPFC has been associated with cognitive intelli- ality (13-16). which me- The dIPFC is closely interconnected with the sensory neocortexdiates emotional processes.8 ± 12.9 ± 7..5 ± 12. and VOSP.4 WAIS-III (Verbal) 106.3 105. verbal IQ.0 ±10.8 96. The neural system involved in Expe-to examine each of these regions and their connectivity.1 109. sonal the insula. However.1 ± 1 1 . dIPFC.3 19. temporal. Visual Object and S perception.1073/pnas. dIPFC damage diminishes Experiential El and there.56 ± 12.2 ± 3.g. On the processing knowledge that is crucial for understanding and one hand.1 8.8 vmPFC.0 104.3 ±3. incorporating fore hinders the perception and use of emotional information. Building on convergent evidence.9 92.such for the Strategic El component complements a previous lesionprocesses are key factors in making the right versus wrong study that demonstrated an association between vmPFC damagedecisions in one's personal life and in influencing our choice and impaired El measured by the Emotional Quotient Inventoryabout optimal situation-specific social and economic exchange (4).3 ± 10. intentions to support goal-directed social-emotional behavior trated the MSCEIT in individuals with vmPFC and dIPFC brain (49. Accumulating evidence demonstrates the recruitment damage.6 ±11. the reported findings broaden our understand- orchestrate their thoughts and actions in concert with theiring on how El is mediated by the social brain and demonstrates 22488 | is likely that broadly distributed neural systems. Description of neuropsychological tests (mean ± SD) Test/Group vmPFC dIPFC NC MSCEIT(Full Scale) 91. 29 Jan 2018 18:39:03 UTC All use subject to http://about.of the dIPFC.3 96.2 ± 13. problems in interper-ligence tests (e. which make it well suited for Two important insights emerged from these findings.7 99. we stress that our findings highlight only two additional empirical evidence that different competencies un. Furthermore. will play 47).2 ± 15. 56). 38-40).0 ± 15. and full-scale IQ) (51).6 108.5 WAIS-III (Performance) 102. On the other hand. The El have clear neural foundations and can be impaired despite neural system involved in Strategic El overlaps with the neuralotherwise normal basic intellectual functioning.9 ± 3..9 Managing Emotion 83.0912568106 Kruegeretal. Moreover.dysfunction associated with vmPFC damage cannot be explained sults in social incompetence. riential El overlaps with the neural system that enable people to In conclusion.3 ±11. such receiving converging visual. This finding sheds light on the role First.observed behavior ranging from economic games to judgment petencies underlying El are mediated by distinct neural PFC about appropriate forms of punishment in legal and moral substrates. (affect and motivation) (32-34).9 ±9. 41-43). and closely associated regions.8 ± 13. which make it well suited to perceive and use emotionallyimportant roles in subcomponents of El.9 ± 23.0 ±11. 58). Because vmPFC and dIPFC are higher-order association areas.1 ±2.4 ±2. 50).0 10. Table 1.2 ± 10.6 110. understanding of the underlying neural bases of El and provides Importantly.3 Using Emotion 102. we adminis. vmPFC damage . This content downloaded from 148. 57.6 9. the present study reveals that competencies underlying managing emotionally relevant information (4. 13.3 ± 11. such as the amygdala.9 98. revealing a dimension of social cognition.0 ± 13.4 ±13. patients with such lesions have agence (53-55).5 92.1 ± 3. D-KEFS.7 ± 10. somatosensory. a crucial role in human social-emotional behavior.9 ±1. sions in laboratory tasks ranging from moral judgment to performance IQ.jstor.6 ±1.7 96.3 ± 11.0 90.21 ± 14.5 ±13.g.7 D-KEFS (Trail Making) 8.9 107. and parietal cortices (44-influence emotionally related behaviors (4.7 108.0 ±9.3 94.6 ± 14.5 88. 52). and display poor judgment regarding complements cognitive intelligence and permits the evaluation their personal and occupational affairs (36.9 WMS-III (Working Memory) 99.202.5 WMS-III (General Memory) 96. our study goes one step further by advancing ourstrategies (7. diminished sensitivity to sociallyby impaired cognitive intelligence measured by standard intel- relevant stimuli and situational nuances.pnas.4 95.2 Perceiving Emotion 104.4 ±11. decision making (20. dorsolateral PFC group Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test for emotion Intelligence Scale-Ill for cognitive intellectual ability. 51.3 ± 15.9 ± 14. Future studies will need relevant information (48).suggests that this region is central for emotional intelligent tion. 23-26).9 ±0. Our findingof individual differences in emotional and social processes .9 ±3. which mation from the occipital.7 MSCEIT (Experiential) 103.7 ± 12.4 99. 37. ventromedial PFC group.4 ± 19. El economic games (17-21). Our findings indicate a double dissociation in patients' of the dIPFC for evaluating the permissibility or fairness of El performances and provide empirical evidence that key com. vmPFC damage diminishes Strategic El.8 93.3 110.168. demonstrate poor deci. Second.1 WAIS-III (Full-Scale) 104.9 ±9.5 19.4 VOSP (Total) 19.general measures of cognitive intelligence (e. The vmPFC is interconnected with limbic structures critical behavior as the competency to perceive emotional information for long-term memory and the processing of internal statesand to integrate it into thinking.8 ±0. and parietal cortices. subcortical limbic structures. 35-37).1 ±1.8 ± 13.9 MSCEIT (Strategic) 84. and therefore. It hinders the understanding and managing of emotional informa.13 on Mon.6 ± 17.essential brain structures underlying key competencies of EL derlying El depend on separate neural PFC substrates. WAIS/WAIS-R) (4. Previous find- system that subserves personal judgment and real-life decision-ings have demonstrated that the behavioral and emotional making.5 100.2 104. recent lesion evidence failed to support the diminished capacity to respond to emotional value attributed tohypothesis that dIPFC damage would disproportionately impair rewards and punishment (27. cingulate cortex.6 TT (Total) 98. and auditory infor.9 98.6 91. Wechsler Memory Scale-Ill for general m basic verbal comprehension.

olfactory cortex.1 Education. 2). Neurological Disorders and Stroke. executive functioning.g. the MSCEIT yields two area scores each combining two branch overlapping slice thickness of 2. 29 Jan 2018 18:39:03 UTC All use subject to http://about. nine feature of or predominantly had exclusively human social exchange and shouldleft be viewed vmPFC lesions. perception. dIPFC. long-term follow-up study of veterans with focal PHIs (29). Structural neuroimaging data provided by a normative sample of the general population. conscious regulation of intersected by the lesion was determined by analyzing the overlap of the Ό emotions both in oneself and in others).5 Handedness (R/A/L) 18/0/3 17/0/0 24/1/4 AFQT (Percentile) 63. performance. the percentage of AAL structures that were tions to help to achieve a goal. preinjury general intelligence was assessed with the superior frontal gyrus (medial orbital part). These criteria outlined an area comprising the ventral great works of Adam Smith can be resolved if we recognize that portion of the medial pref rontal cortex (below the level of the genu of the social exchange is a fundamental distinguishing feature of hu- corpus callosum) and the medial portion of the orbital surface (approxi- mans and that it finds expression in both impersonal exchange mately the medial one-third of the orbitofrontal cortex in each hemi- through large-group markets and personal sphere) as well as theexchange subjacent white in small- matter. AFQT. the as determined by their correspondence with the answers Bethesda Naval Hospital.e. Besides the were reconstructed with an in-plane voxel size of 0.66 = 1. an Full-Scale El.5 14. A more detailed discussion of the spatially normalized lesion image with the AAL atlas. which is a prospective. group social transactions (59). MD.e.entry into military. and mental im- Kruegeretal.0. Of the 21 vmPFC patients. and verbal IQ) (65) for cognitive intellectual ability.).6 14. These criteria outlined an area comprising the dorsal portion of the lateral Materials and Methods pref rontal cortex and subjacent white matter. considered together. Injury Study registry. and cognitive (e. The MSCEIT as a 141 -item scale focuses on emotion-related competen- cies that can be assessed through performance-based standardized norms.3 ± 2. Lesion volume was psychometric properties of the MSCEIT and how it was developed can be calculated by manually tracing the lesion in all relevant slices of the CT image found in the MSCEIT user's manual (64) and elsewhere (1. which is a valid standardized psychometric measure of emotionally 0. y 14. The portions of these structures edge. superior frontal gyrus (orbital part). PNAS | December 29. for example. middle frontal gyrus (orbital Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT-7A) administered to individuals upon part).. three had bilateral dIPFC lesions. gyrus rectus.4 mm. included in the vmPFC ROI were those areas that were inferior to the that it can be dissociated from cognitive intelligence.09.jstor. TT (Total score) (68) for basic verbal comprehension. six had exclusively or predominantly left dIPFC Subjects. Lesion scores: (/) Experiential El as the competency of Perceiving Emotions (i. object-function matching. fluid and crystallized) and inferior frontal gyrus emotional (triangular (e.396). in patients with brain damage. atlas (60). and social cognition.13 on Mon. dorsolateral PFC group. Ρ = 0. the CT image of each subject's brain example. enabling a consensus decision to be reached regarding the limits of each lesion.. and preinjury general intelligence (F2.3 ± 2. We administered the MSCEIT V2. non right-handed. 2009 | vol. NC) based upon the the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.. ambidextrous.. NC. over a 5.e. It is acknowledged as a valid ability-measure of El written informed consent.8 64.46) (63).44 (Medical Numerics) it includes the ability to accurately read facial expressions) and Using with enhancements to support the Automated Anatomical Labeling (AAL) Emotions (i. for example. of the following AAL structures: superior Future studies have to address the precise frontal relationship gyrus (dorsolateral between part).9 57. in native space and then summing the trace areas and multiplying by slice ζ In addition. Axial CT scans without contrast were acquired Responses on on the MSCEIT were scored with respect to their degree of a GE Medical Systems Light Speed Plus CT scanner in helical mode at correctness. All participants understood the study procedures and gave their intelligent behavior (28).758) (Table 2). Ρ = 0.106 | no. Armed Forces Qualifica intelligence administered to individuals upon entry into the military.293). Caveness Vietnam Head lesions. In addition.24. anterior commissure the controversy over the coexistence and dual (z value influences less than zero) and between of 0 and 20 mm left cognitive and ÉI in behavioral economics embodied in the two -20 < x <0. CT Acquisition and Analysis.908). and eight had exclusively or predominantly right dIPFC lesions.. index) (67) for general and working memory.8 ± 23.3 ± 1.) with clinical experience of reading CT scans. For education (F2. implemented in MEDx v3.9 ± 23. WMS-III (general memory index and working memory testing (J.3 ± 21.R.28.G. handedness (contingency coefficient this = study. will provide a more complete understanding of portions The dIPFC ROI included human behavior. D-KEFS (Tower Task and Trail Making) (66) for that was blind to the results of the clinical evaluation and neuropsychological executive functioning.202.8 68. to harness emotions to facilitate thinking.5 ± 2. whenlesions.4 x 0. Participants were assessed from 2003 to 2006 at and a non-head-injured (n = 29) group (control. The experimental and control groups with tests that measured a wide variety of neuropsychological functions were matched with respect to age (F2. ABLe software (30. understanding the relationship between sadness and loss) and was normalized to a CT template brain image in Montreal Neurological Managing Emotions (i.. arithmetic word problems. L. The AFQT is composed of four subtests (vocabulary knowl- anterior cingulate. Afterward.5 . Bethesda.. to figure^ut effective strategies that use emo- Institute (MNI) space. y 57. tó realize the causes of emotions. and VOSP (Total score) (69) for object and space The vmPFC ROI included portions of the following AAL structures: superior frontal gyrus (medial part).66 = 0. As a part of this process.g. A.66 = 7-day period presence or absence of local PHIs. and paracingulategyri. right and right from the anterior commissure (left vmPFC: vmPFC: 0 < x <20). ventromedial PFC group. part). 52 | 22489 This content downloaded from 148. Ρ = 0. language.9 ± 2. Table 2. level of including memory. andas fivecomplementary had exclusively or predominantly right vmPFC to cognitive intelligence and. Participants were drawn from the W. left-handed. to location and volume from CT images were determined using the interactive perceive and identify emotions both in oneself and in others. 31). Description of demographic characteristics (mean ± SD) Group vmPFC dIPFC NC Age. Of the 17 dIPFC patients. The portions of these structures in- cluded in the dIPFC ROI were those areas that were inferior to the anterior experiential and strategic) intelligence and to what extent dif- commissure ferent types of intelligence help to explain (z value more the than zero) and between deficits observed 0 and 1 0 mm left and right from the anterior commissure (left dIPFC: -10 < x <0. Furthermore.F. El is seven ahaddistinguishing bilateral vmPFC lesions.4 58. and (/'/) Strategic El as the competency interests (ROIs) were defined in terms of AAL structures (60) and Talairach of Understanding Emotions (i. anticipating another person's emotional reaction and using that knowl- For the hypothesis about specific brain areas (vmPFC and dIPFC). We evaluated 67 combat veterans and divided them into dIPFC (n = 17) and vmPFC (n = 21) lesion (experimental) groups Neuropsychological Testing.25.e. Manual tracing was performed by a trained psychiatrist (V. and a 1-mm slice interval. right dlPFC:0< x <10). middle frontal gyrus (lateral part). for coordinates (61). MD. for example. participants were administered a set of neuropsychological thickness.168.6 ± 2. It was then reviewed by an observertests including the WAIS-III (full-scale. Ρ = 0. regions of edge to modify one's own behavior). we focused on the assessment of El. which was approved by the Institutional Review(62) and correlates with other self-report measures of El such as the Bar-On Board at the National Naval Medical Center and the National Institute of Emotional Quotient Inventory (r = 0. inferior frontal gyrus (orbital part).1 vmPFC.

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