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Cortex. 1987 Jun;23(2):293-300.

Impaired emotional recognition following severe head injury.


Four tests of emotional recognition from facial expression and posture cues were administered to 15 male closed head injury patients who had previously shown no impairment on a visual perception task. An equivalent number of controls matched for sex, age and verbal IQ were administered the same tests. Only those stimuli which validly depicted the stated emotion, identified by the controls performance, were included in the final analyses. Head injury patients were impaired on emotional recognition across all four tests compared to controls. No relationship between age, verbal IQ and emotional recognition could be found in either subject group. Similarly, no significant correlation between head injured and control performance across the 31 affective stimuli was found. Results indicated that the head injured were more impaired on the recognition of negative emotions than positive emotions. These findings are discussed with reference to the psychosocial difficulties encountered by the severely head injured.

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