Aspects of emotional facial expression (responsivity, appropriateness, intensity) were examined in brain-damaged adults with right or left hemisphere cerebrovascular lesions and in normal controls. Subjects were videotaped during experimental procedures designed to elicit emotional facial expression and non-emotional facial movement (paralysis, mobility, praxis). On tasks of emotional facial expression, patients with right hemisphere pathology were less responsive and less appropriate than patients with left hemisphere pathology or normal controls. These results corroborate other research findings that the right cerebral hemisphere is dominant for the expression of facial emotion. Both brain-damaged groups had substantial facial paralysis and impairment in muscular mobility on the hemiface contralateral to site of lesion, and the left brain-damaged group had bucco-facial apraxia. Performance measures of emotional expression and non-emotional movement were uncorrelated, suggesting a dissociation between these two systems of facial behaviour.
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