The affective value of faces in patients achieving long-term seizure freedom after temporal lobectomy

Stefano Meletti, Angelo Picardi, Marco De Risi, Giulia Monti, Vincenzo Esposito, Liliana G. Grammaldo, Giancarlo Di Gennaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated different aspects of facial expression evaluation in a homogeneous cohort of 42 seizure-free patients with 5 or more years of follow-up after temporal lobectomy (TL), with the aim of further characterizing the impairment in emotion and social cognition among patients. A group of healthy subjects matched for sex, age, and education served as controls. Four tasks of facial expression evaluation were used: (a) facial expression recognition, (b) rating of the intensity of facial expression, and (c) rating of valence (pleasantness) and (d) rating of arousal induced by facial expressions. Patients had a worse performance in the recognition task for all negative emotions, while no differences in intensity ratings were found. They also reported lower arousal ratings than controls for faces showing fear, anger, disgust, and neutral expressions, as well as lower valence ratings for all facial expressions except those showing happiness. Longer epilepsy duration before TL was negatively associated with ratings of arousal and intensity and positively associated with valence ratings for fearful facial expressions.This study showed that patients who become seizure-free after TL present long-term deficits in several aspects of facial expression evaluation. Longitudinal, prospective studies are needed to evaluate if social cognition improves or declines after TL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Arousal
  • Emotion recognition
  • Emotions
  • Facial expressions
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy
  • Temporal lobectomy
  • Valence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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