Longitudinal aspects of emotion recognition in patients with traumatic brain injury


Ietswaart M, Milders M, Crawford JR, Currie D & Scott CL (2008) Longitudinal aspects of emotion recognition in patients with traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychologia, 46 (1), pp. 148-159.

Changes in emotional and social behaviour are relatively common following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Impairments in recognising the emotional state of others may underlie some of the problems in social relationships that these patients experience. The few previous studies examining emotion recognition in TBI typically assessed patients once, long after the onset of brain injury, making it difficult to distinguish the direct effect of brain injury from the effects of environmental changes. This study examined 30 patients with TBI shortly after brain injury and 32 orthopaedic control patients on their recognition of emotions expressed in the face and the voice using discrimination and labelling tasks. These patients were followed up 1 year later to examine the longitudinal development of emotion recognition deficits. TBI patients were found to be impaired on emotion recognition compared to the control patients both early after injury and 1 year later. The fact that impairments in emotion recognition were evident early after TBI and no evidence of recovery over time was found, suggests a direct effect of brain injury.

brain damage; affect; facial expression; vocal prosody; recovery

Neuropsychologia: Volume 46, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2008