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Brain Cogn. 2005 Jul;58(2):193-201. Epub 2005 Jan 13.

Emotion recognition in stroke patients with left and right hemispheric lesion: results with a new instrument-the FEEL Test.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulm, Leimgrubenweg 12-14, 89075 Ulm, Germany.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a stroke event on people's ability to recognize basic emotions. In particular, the hypothesis that right brain-damaged (RBD) patients would show less of emotion recognition ability compared with left brain-damaged (LBD) patients and healthy controls, was tested. To investigate this the FEEL Test (Facially Expressed Emotion Labeling) was used, a computer based psychometric test that assesses one's ability to recognize facially displayed basic emotions via a forced-choice paradigm. We examined 24 patients after a stroke event (13 RBD, 11 LBD) and compared them with a matched group of healthy controls (HC, n=29). Results showed that the stroke patients performed significantly worse in the FEEL Test than did HC (p<.001). This deficit was especially evident for negative emotions (fear, anger, sadness, and disgust). In contrast to other studies we did not find any significant differences between RBD and LBD patients in their ability to recognize emotions. These results indicate that a stroke event has a negative effect on the recognition of facially displayed emotions but suggest that this effect is apparently not dependent on the side of the brain damage.

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