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Intention, false beliefs, and delusional jealousy: Insights into the right hemisphere from neurological patients and neuroimaging studies

Stephanie Ortigue, Francesco Bianchi-Demicheli

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(1): RA1-11

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881314

Published: 2010-12-16


Jealousy sits high atop of a list comprised of the most human emotional experiences, although its nature, rationale, and origin are poorly understood. In the past decade, a series of neurological case reports and neuroimaging findings have been particularly helpful in piecing together jealousy’s puzzle. In order to understand and quantify the neurological factors that might be important in jealousy, we reviewed the current literature in this specific field. We made an electronic search, and examined all literature with at least an English abstract, through Mars 2010. The search identified a total of 20 neurological patients, who experienced jealousy in relation with a neurological disorder; and 22 healthy individuals, who experienced jealousy under experimental neuroimaging settings. Most of the clinical cases of reported jealousy after a stroke had delusional-type jealousy. Right hemispheric stroke was the most frequently reported neurological disorder in these patients, although there was a wide range of more diffuse neurological disorders that may be reported to be associated with different other types of jealousy. This is in line with recent neuroimaging data on false beliefs, moral judgments, and intention [mis]understanding. Together the present findings provide physicians and psychologists with a potential for high impact in understanding the neural mechanisms and treatment of jealousy. By combining findings from case reports and neuroimaging data, the present article allows for a novel and unique perspective, and explores new directions into the neurological jealous mind.

Keywords: Middle Aged, Sex Factors, Male, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Jealousy, Intention, Humans, Female, Delusions - psychology, Culture, Cerebral Infarction - psychology, Aged, Tomography, Emission-Computed



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