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J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Jul-Aug;29(4):E1-E12. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e31829dded6.

Affect recognition in traumatic brain injury: responses to unimodal and multimodal media.

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Department of Applied Linguistics, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada (Dr Zupan); and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Indiana University School of Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, Indiana (Dr Neumann).



To compare affect recognition by people with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI) for (1) unimodal and context-enriched multimodal media; (2) positive (happy) and negative emotions; and (3) neutral multimodal stimuli.


A total of 60 people with moderate to severe TBI and 60 matched controls.


(1) facial affect, (2) vocal affect, and (3) multimodal affect.


Compared with controls, people with TBI scored significantly lower on both unimodal measures but not on the multimodal measure. Within- group comparisons for people with TBI revealed that they were better at recognizing affect from multimodal than unimodal stimuli. As a group, participants with TBI who were categorized as having impaired facial/vocal affect recognition were less accurate at recognizing all emotions, including happy, than unimpaired participants. Neutral stimuli were more poorly identified by participants with TBI than by those with controls.


Context-enriched multimodal stimuli may enhance affect recognition for people with TBI. People with TBI who have impaired affect recognition may have problems identifying both positive (happy) and negative expressions. Furthermore, people with TBI may perceive affect when there is none.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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