Archive for March 17th, 2016

March 17, 2016

Witzelsucht

thats what she said

david brent by Anne D Bernstein

Witzelsucht [vit-sel-zuhkt] (from the German ‘witzeln,’ meaning ‘to joke or wisecrack,’ and ‘sucht,’ meaning ‘addiction or yearning’) is a set of rare neurological symptoms characterized by a tendency to make puns, or tell inappropriate jokes or pointless stories in socially inappropriate situations. A less common symptom is hypersexuality, the tendency to make sexual comments at inappropriate times or situations. Patients do not understand that their behavior is abnormal, therefore are nonresponsive to others’ reactions. This disorder is most commonly seen in patients with frontal lobe damage, particularly right frontal lobe tumors or trauma.

Those with the condition often show no emotional reaction to humor, whether produced by themselves or others. This lack of responsiveness is due to dissociation between their cognitive and affective responses to humorous stimuli. That is, even when a patient understands that a joke is funny (based on quantitative brain activity), they do not respond with laughter, or even a smile. While they have grasped the cognitive basis of humor, they do not affectively respond. This also considered a cognitive component of empathy, affecting ability to take the perspective of others; hence why patients often do not respond to humor produced by other people.

read more »