Translated title of the contribution: Emotional disturbances and cerebral lesions

G. Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A systematic study of the emotional behavior of right and left brain damaged patients was conducted on large groups of patients with unilateral cerebral lesions. The incidence of 'catastrophic reactions' was found to be significantly higher among the left brain damaged patients, whereas 'indifference reactions' were significantly more frequent in the group with right sided lesions. The depressive catastrophic reactions of left brain damaged patients seemed due chiefly to marked difficulties in verbal expression, while the indifference reactions of the right brain damaged patients were highly correlated with neglect phenomena for the opposite half of the body and of space. The meaning of the emotional reaction shown by left brain damaged patients seems easy to understand, if one considers that these subjects are affected by aphasia and by a paresis of the right hand. More surprising and paradoxical is, on the contrary, the emotional behavior of the right brain damaged patients. The hypothesis is advanced that the indifference of these subjects may be only apparent, and due to a strong need of denying illness. The prevalence of denial of illness among the right brain damaged patients could be due to the 'non verbal' functional organization which is supposed to be characteristic of this half of the brain.

Translated title of the contributionEmotional disturbances and cerebral lesions
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)215-229
Number of pages15
JournalSchweizer Archiv fur Neurologie, Neurochirurgie und Psychiatrie
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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