Research Reports - Affect Recognition in Traumatic Brain Injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Aug 26

Zupan B, Neumann D

OBJECTIVES:: 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.
PARTICIPANTS:: A total of 60 people with moderate to severe TBI and 60 matched
controls.
MEASURES:: (1) facial affect, (2) vocal affect, and (3) multimodal affect.
RESULTS:: 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.
CONCLUSION:: 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.

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