Research Reports - Recognition of nonverbal communication of emotion after traumatic brain injury

NeuroRehabilitation. 2013 Nov 27

Bird J, Parente R

BACKGROUND: Individuals who have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) often have
difficulty processing nonverbal communication (Ekman, 1976) The published
research in this area has focused on a TBI patient's ability to recognize facial
expression, vocal intonation, and postural expression (Croker, 2005; Hopkins,
Dywan & Segalowitz, 2002).
OBJECTIVE: This study compared the non-verbal processing skills of brain-injured
patients versus non-injured controls in all three domains.
METHODS: The stimuli were photographs of facial and postural expressions and
audio recordings of intonational expressions.
RESULTS: The results indicated that persons with TBI have particular difficulty
recognizing non-verbal communication resulting from vocal intonations.
CONCLUSIONS: The TBI patients had difficulty processing tonality, therefore, it
is reasonable to suggest that clinicians, friends, and family members should
emphasize the explicit verbal content of spoken language when speaking to a
person with TBI.

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