Emotional Intelligence in Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum: Results From the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test

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People with agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) with normal intelligence have been shown to have deficits on a number of tasks related to complex cognitive processes, particularly in the social domain. However, little research has been conducted on the role that potential emotional functioning deficits in ACC contribute to these problems. This study used the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) in order to help clarify the nature of emotional dysfunction in ACC and how the different aspects of emotional intelligence (EI) may contribute to difficulties in complex cognitive and social functioning processes. It was hypothesized that the ACC group would perform more poorly on the MSCEIT overall, with greater disparities in comparison to a control group in the areas of the test related to more complex emotional processes. Contrary to the hypothesis, the ACC group did not differ from the control group on total EI. However, the ACC group did significantly worse as task complexity increased on the MSCEIT, whereas control group performance was more stable across the different components of the MSCEIT. Furthermore, the ACC group performed worse in comparison to the standardized MSCEIT norms on the higher-order tasks of the MSCEIT. These findings suggest that people with ACC are able to reason through more basic EI tasks, but may have deficits in more sophisticated aspects of EI that likely require more interhemispheric transfer capabilities.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Brown, Warren S.

Document Type





Emotional intelligence, Corpus callosum, Abnormalities, Emotional intelligence tests




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