Affective behavior in patients with localized cortical excisions: role of lesion site and side

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Science  02 Oct 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4516, pp. 89-91
DOI: 10.1126/science.7280683


The perception of emotion in verbal and facial expression, and the spontaneous production of conversational speech were studied in patients with unilateral focal excisions of frontal, temporal, or parieto-occipital cortex. Lesions of the left hemisphere impaired the matching of verbal descriptions to appropriate verbal categories of emotional states, whereas with lesions of the right hemisphere, the matching of different faces displaying similar emotional states was impaired. The effects of lesions of both left and right hemisphere occurred regardless of the locus of the lesion. On the other hand, frontal-lobe lesions had differential effects upon unsolicited talking; lesions of the left frontal lobe virtually abolished this behavior, whereas lesions of the right frontal lobe produced excessive talking. These data suggest that the nature of the behavioral stimulus as well as the locus and side of damage must be considered in the study of the neural basis of affective behavior.