Neuroimaging and facial affect processing: implications for traumatic brain injury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


The ability to recognize others’ emotions is critical to successful interpersonal interactions. Given its importance, there has been an extensive amount of research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms associated with facial affect recognition in healthy individuals, and some in patient populations with affective disorders. Findings from these studies reveal that the underlying mechanisms involve a distributed neural network, engaging structures within limbic and subcortical regions, prefrontal cortex, temporal and parietal lobes, and occipital cortex. In the last several decades, researchers have become increasingly interested in how emotion recognition is affected after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which often involves damage to these structures, as well as the neural circuitry connecting them. Not surprisingly, research has reliably demonstrated that facial affect recognition deficits are common after TBI. To date, however, no neuroimaging studies have investigated facial affect recognition deficits in the TBI population. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to consider how functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) might inform our knowledge about affect recognition deficits after TBI, and potentially enhance treatment approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-473
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • Emotion
  • Facial affect recognition
  • Neuroimaging
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

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