Multidimensional scaling of emotional responses to music in patients with temporal lobe resection.Cortex. 2011 Oct; 47(9):1107-15.C
The present study investigated emotional responses to music by using multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis in patients with right or left medial temporal lobe (MTL) lesions and matched normal controls (NC). Participants were required to evaluate emotional dissimilarities of nine musical excerpts that were selected to express graduated changes along the valence and arousal dimensions. For this purpose, they rated dissimilarity between pairs of stimuli on an eight-point scale and the resulting matrices were submitted to an MDS analysis. The results showed that patients did not differ from NC participants in evaluating emotional feelings induced by the musical excerpts, suggesting that all participants were able to distinguish refined emotions. We concluded that the ability to detect and use emotional valence and arousal when making dissimilarity judgments was not strongly impaired by a right or left MTL lesion. This finding has important clinical implications and is discussed in light of current neuropsychological studies on emotion. It suggests that emotional responses to music can be at least partially preserved at a non-verbal level in patients with unilateral temporal lobe damage including the amygdala.