Impaired recognition of musical emotions and facial expressions following anteromedial temporal lobe excision.Cortex. 2011 Oct; 47(9):1116-25.C
We have shown that an anteromedial temporal lobe resection can impair the recognition of scary music in a prior study (Gosselin et al., 2005). In other studies (Adolphs et al., 2001; Anderson et al., 2000), similar results have been obtained with fearful facial expressions. These findings suggest that scary music and fearful faces may be processed by common cerebral structures. To assess this possibility, we tested patients with unilateral anteromedial temporal excision and normal controls in two emotional tasks. In the task of identifying musical emotion, stimuli evoked either fear, peacefulness, happiness or sadness. Participants were asked to rate to what extent each stimulus expressed these four emotions on 10-point scales. The task of facial emotion included morphed stimuli whose expression varied from faint to more pronounced and evoked fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, anger or disgust. Participants were requested to select the appropriate label. Most patients were found to be impaired in the recognition of both scary music and fearful faces. Furthermore, the results in both tasks were correlated, suggesting a multimodal representation of fear within the amygdala. However, inspection of individual results showed that recognition of fearful faces can be preserved whereas recognition of scary music can be impaired. Such a dissociation found in two cases suggests that fear recognition in faces and in music does not necessarily involve exactly the same cerebral networks and this hypothesis is discussed in light of the current literature.