Emotion recognition from faces and prosody following temporal lobectomy

Neuropsychology. 2001 Jul;15(3):396-404. doi: 10.1037//0894-4105.15.3.396.


The anteromedial temporal lobe has been found to participate in processing emotion, but there are unresolved discrepancies in the literature. To address this issue, the authors investigated recognition of emotion from faces and from prosody in 26 participants with unilateral temporal lobectomy (15 left, 11 right) and in 50 brain-damaged controls. Participants with right, but not left, temporal lobectomy did significantly worse in recognizing fear from facial expressions. There were no group differences in recognizing emotional prosody. Neither IQ nor basic perceptual function accounted for task performance; however, there was a moderate negative correlation between extent of amygdala damage and overall performance. Consistent with some prior studies, these findings support a role for the right anteromedial temporal lobe (including amygdala) in recognizing emotion from faces but caution in drawing conclusions from small group samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery*
  • Face*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Linguistics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perceptual Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Psychosurgery / methods*
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*