Treating deficits in emotion perception following traumatic brain injury

  • Bornhofen C
  • McDonald S
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Abstract

The present research aimed to investigate whether social perception deficits commonly experienced in the adult traumatic brain injury (TBI) population can be successfully remediated through cognitive rehabilitation. Twelve outpatient volunteers (11 male, 1 female; age range 20-57 years) with severe, chronic TBI (mean length of post-traumatic amnesia 121 days, range 58-210 days; mean months post- injury 93.58, range 17-207 months) participated in a randomised controlled trial. Participants were randomly allocated to treatment and waitlist control groups following assessment on a range of emotion perception and psychosocial measures. Treatment comprised 25 hours, across 8 weeks, of a programme specifically designed to address emotion perception which incorporated a variety of remediation techniques shown to be effective with the TBI population. Results indicated that participants significantly improved both in judging basic emotional stimuli when presented in a naturalistic format (i.e., video vignettes) and in making social inferences on the basis of speaker demeanour. This is the first known treatment study dealing with emotion perception deficits in individuals with TBI.

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Authors

  • Cristina Bornhofen

  • Skye McDonald

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