Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2013 Aug;8(6):632-9. doi: 10.1093/scan/nss041. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

A voxel-based lesion study on facial emotion recognition after penetrating brain injury.

Author information

  • 1Cognitive Neuroscience Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD, 20892, USA.


The ability to read emotions in the face of another person is an important social skill that can be impaired in subjects with traumatic brain injury (TBI). To determine the brain regions that modulate facial emotion recognition, we conducted a whole-brain analysis using a well-validated facial emotion recognition task and voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) in a large sample of patients with focal penetrating TBIs (pTBIs). Our results revealed that individuals with pTBI performed significantly worse than normal controls in recognizing unpleasant emotions. VLSM mapping results showed that impairment in facial emotion recognition was due to damage in a bilateral fronto-temporo-limbic network, including medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), anterior cingulate cortex, left insula and temporal areas. Beside those common areas, damage to the bilateral and anterior regions of PFC led to impairment in recognizing unpleasant emotions, whereas bilateral posterior PFC and left temporal areas led to impairment in recognizing pleasant emotions. Our findings add empirical evidence that the ability to read pleasant and unpleasant emotions in other people's faces is a complex process involving not only a common network that includes bilateral fronto-temporo-limbic lobes, but also other regions depending on emotional valence.


basic emotions; facial emotion recognition; labeling task; traumatic brain injury; voxel-based lesion symptom mapping

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk