Cerebrovascular diseaseAcute stroke effects on emotions: an interpretation through the mirror systemBodini, Benedettaa; Iacoboni, Marcob; Lenzi, Gian LuigiaAuthor Information aDepartment of Neurological Sciences, 1st University of Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Rome, Italy; and bAhmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA Correspondence to Gian Luigi Lenzi, Department of Neurological Sciences, 1st University of Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Rome, Italy E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Current Opinion in Neurology: February 2004 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - p 55-60 Buy Abstract Purpose of review The most recent reports on emotional consequences of stroke are hereby reviewed and analyzed. In particular the interpretation of some neurological presentations found in stroke patients, such as athymormia, dysprosody, emotional incontinence and emotional blunting is discussed. As current theories on mental functions do not provide satisfactory explanations for the above syndromes, a novel interpretative framework is proposed, based on neuropsychological experimental data on the ‘mirror system’. Recent findings Recent findings support both the fundamental role of the mirror system in imitative processes as well as the relevance of imitation for the emotional part of human personality and behavior. Summary The mirror system appears to be of paramount relevance for empathy and social behavior. The model of analysis-by-synthesis is here discussed, together with neurological presentations resulting from stroke induced impairments of the mirror system. Speculations for further researches are also proposed. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.