Session: 1

PS1-15 | Facial recognition of emotions in refractory epilepsy of the temporal lobe, the role of the right angular gyrus (preliminary results).

Bautista Elizalde Acevedo

Instituto de Investigaciones en Medicina Traslacional (IIMT) - CONICET/ Facultad de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Austral

The facial recognition of emotions (FRE), ability to identify emotional states in others, is processed by temporo-fronto-occipital areas of the right hemisphere. In patients with drug resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) this function can be affected. This study seeks to assess whether TLE patients are impaired at FRE, and whether they perform the task recruiting alternative brain networks. Patients with right TLE (RTLE) (N=8), left (LTLE) (N=16), and controls (CTRL) (N=15) were evaluated by fMRI using stimuli with different facial expressions (joy, anger, fear, neutral, and baseline). At the behavioral level, there were significant differences in reaction time (RT) for joy stimuli between the groups: both TLE groups had longer RT compared to CTRL [F(2,40)=4.264,p=.021]. At the neural level, the contrast FRE of negative stimuli revealed that CTRL and LTLE activated similar areas in the calcarine gyrus, the lingual gyrus, and the cuneo, although the LTLE group had additional in frontal gyrus. The FRE of joy in CTRL, revealed frontal-parietal activations in the right angular gyrus that did not appear in RTLE. Preliminary results highlight the importance of the right angular gyrus in FRE for joy, possibly due to its involvement in the Theory of Mind (ToM) network, as ToM is needed to decode emotions. Also, FRE for joy is more complex to process than negative emotion, because it is link with empathy and ToM. We are currently increasing the sample size.