Limits...
Effects of 25 mg oxazepam on emotional mimicry and empathy for pain: a randomized controlled experiment

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Emotional mimicry and empathy are mechanisms underlying social interaction. Benzodiazepines have been proposed to inhibit empathy and promote antisocial behaviour. First, we aimed to investigate the effects of oxazepam on emotional mimicry and empathy for pain, and second, we aimed to investigate the association of personality traits to emotional mimicry and empathy. Participants (n=76) were randomized to 25 mg oxazepam or placebo. Emotional mimicry was examined using video clips with emotional expressions. Empathy was investigated by pain stimulating the participant and a confederate. We recorded self-rated experience, activity in major zygomatic and superciliary corrugator muscles, skin conductance, and heart rate. In the mimicry experiment, oxazepam inhibited corrugator activity. In the empathy experiment, oxazepam caused increased self-rated unpleasantness and skin conductance. However, oxazepam specifically inhibited neither emotional mimicry nor empathy for pain. Responses in both experiments were associated with self-rated empathic, psychopathic and alexithymic traits. The present results do not support a specific effect of 25 mg oxazepam on emotional mimicry or empathy.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a–d) Empathy for pain: personality predictors. Associations between PPI subscales and empathic responding have been reported previously [57].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383810&req=5

RSOS160607F11: (a–d) Empathy for pain: personality predictors. Associations between PPI subscales and empathic responding have been reported previously [57].

Mentions: We hypothesized that IRI-EC would predict empathic responses. Associations between PPI-R and empathic responding have been reported previously [57]. Predictors for responding in the empathy condition (high-intensity stimulus to the other person) are shown in figure 11. IRI subscales predicted increased empathic responding on ratings, skin conductance and EMG, but not heart rate. Conversely, TAS-20 predicted lesser empathic responses on ratings, skin conductance and EMG, but not heart rate. Besides the rating scales, we also investigated rated likability of the confederate, and it did not predict empathic responses on unpleasantness (2.24 [−0.16, 4.64], p=0.07), skin conductance responses (0.017, [−0.020, 0.013], p=0.11), corrugator EMG (−0.065, [−0.134, 0.004], p=0.07) nor heart rate (0.003, [−0.017, 0.023], p=0.80).Figure 11.


Effects of 25 mg oxazepam on emotional mimicry and empathy for pain: a randomized controlled experiment
(a–d) Empathy for pain: personality predictors. Associations between PPI subscales and empathic responding have been reported previously [57].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383810&req=5

RSOS160607F11: (a–d) Empathy for pain: personality predictors. Associations between PPI subscales and empathic responding have been reported previously [57].
Mentions: We hypothesized that IRI-EC would predict empathic responses. Associations between PPI-R and empathic responding have been reported previously [57]. Predictors for responding in the empathy condition (high-intensity stimulus to the other person) are shown in figure 11. IRI subscales predicted increased empathic responding on ratings, skin conductance and EMG, but not heart rate. Conversely, TAS-20 predicted lesser empathic responses on ratings, skin conductance and EMG, but not heart rate. Besides the rating scales, we also investigated rated likability of the confederate, and it did not predict empathic responses on unpleasantness (2.24 [−0.16, 4.64], p=0.07), skin conductance responses (0.017, [−0.020, 0.013], p=0.11), corrugator EMG (−0.065, [−0.134, 0.004], p=0.07) nor heart rate (0.003, [−0.017, 0.023], p=0.80).Figure 11.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Emotional mimicry and empathy are mechanisms underlying social interaction. Benzodiazepines have been proposed to inhibit empathy and promote antisocial behaviour. First, we aimed to investigate the effects of oxazepam on emotional mimicry and empathy for pain, and second, we aimed to investigate the association of personality traits to emotional mimicry and empathy. Participants (n=76) were randomized to 25 mg oxazepam or placebo. Emotional mimicry was examined using video clips with emotional expressions. Empathy was investigated by pain stimulating the participant and a confederate. We recorded self-rated experience, activity in major zygomatic and superciliary corrugator muscles, skin conductance, and heart rate. In the mimicry experiment, oxazepam inhibited corrugator activity. In the empathy experiment, oxazepam caused increased self-rated unpleasantness and skin conductance. However, oxazepam specifically inhibited neither emotional mimicry nor empathy for pain. Responses in both experiments were associated with self-rated empathic, psychopathic and alexithymic traits. The present results do not support a specific effect of 25 mg oxazepam on emotional mimicry or empathy.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus