[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following cerebral lesions, especially right and frontal cerebral lesions, patients often have difficulties in social cognition. Emotional skills are often impaired. Adults with cerebral lesions have difficulty identifying facial emotional expressions and attributing emotions in situations of communication. However, few studies have involved children and adolescents with cerebral lesions. Our first goal was to determine whether the performance in emotional tasks of young patients with frontal cerebral lesions is as impaired as that of adults, and the second goal was to study the role of emotional cues in pragmatic aspects of language.
The study involved 7 children and adolescents with frontal cerebral lesions but no aphasia and 7 control subjects. We used two emotional tasks: one to assess the ability to identify facial emotional expressions, and one to assess the ability to attribute emotions in situations of communication.
The control and experimental groups did not differ significantly in identifying and attributing emotions. A further analysis of responses revealed that the patients were more impaired than controls in attributing complex emotions. As well, the patients tended to produce more justifications based on irrelevant elements than the controls.
Our first data have shown that the children and adolescents with frontal cerebral lesions retain the ability to analyse emotions in situations of communication but have subtle difficulty in analysing emotional cues in social situations.
Annales de Réadaptation et de Médecine Physique 11/2007; 50(7):582-9.