Four patients that had received an anterior cingulotomy (ACING) and five patients that had received both an ACING and an anterior capsulotomy (ACAPS) as an intervention for chronic, treatment refractory depression were presented with a series of dynamic emotional stimuli and invited to identify the emotion portrayed. Their performance was compared with that of a group of non-surgically treated patients with major depression (n=17) and with a group of matched, never-depressed controls (n=22). At the time of testing, four of the nine neurosurgery patients had recovered from their depressive episode, whereas five remained depressed. Analysis of emotion recognition accuracy revealed no significant differences between depressed and non-depressed neurosurgically treated patients. Similarly, no significant differences were observed between the patients treated with ACING alone and those treated with both ACING and ACAPS. Comparison of the emotion recognition accuracy of the neurosurgically treated patients and the depressed and healthy control groups revealed that the surgically treated patients exhibited a general impairment in their recognition accuracy compared to healthy controls. Regression analysis revealed that participants' emotion recognition accuracy was predicted by the number of errors they made on the Stroop colour-naming task. It is plausible that the observed deficit in emotion recognition accuracy was a consequence of impaired attentional control, which may have been a result of the surgical lesions to the anterior cingulate cortex.