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Effects of unilateral anteromedial temporal lobe resections on event-related potentials when reading negative and neutral words

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Poster B26 in Poster Session B, Tuesday, October 24, 3:30 - 5:15 pm CEST, Espace Vieux-Port

Johanna Kissler1, Malena Mielke1, Lea Marie Reisch1,2, Sebastian Schindler3, Christian Bien2; 1Bielefeld University, Department of Psychology, 2Bielefeld University, Medical School OWL, Department of Epileptology, 3University of Münster, Medical School, Institute for Medical Psychology

We investigated effects of unilateral left (lTLR, N=15) or right (rTLR, N=19) anteromedial temporal lobe resections comprising amygdala and temporal pole on event-related potentials (ERPs) during attentive reading of negative and neutral words, their emotional evaluation, and recognition memory. Emotion-driven ERP enhancements are frequently observed in word processing. They have been found at various processing stages and are most consistently reported in the early posterios negativity (EPN, 200 - 300 ms) and the late positive potential (LPP) time windows. Higher amplitudes during processing of emotional compared to neutral words have bee thought to depend at least partly on the amygdalae. Some previous lesion or resection studies using other stimulus types have suggested component-specific effects of amygdala or medial temporal lobe damage. For faces, the literature reports reduced emotion effects on the P1 and LPP, but intact responses on the N1 and EPN in patients with left or right amygdala sclerosis (Rotshtein et al., 2010). For pictures, smaller P1, N1 and EPN emotion modulations, but intact LPP effects have been found in rTLR patients (Mielke et al. 2022). Here, we tested to what extent emotional word processing is impaired by medial temporal lobe resections. Content effects on behavior did not differ between lTLR, rTLR, and controls (N=18). All groups showed better recognition memory for negative words and intact appraisals of word valence and arousal. Negative words elicited larger ERPs than neutral words for P1, Early Posterior Negativity (EPN), and Late Positive Potential (LPP). However, the rTLR group lacked the P1 enhancement and had attenuated EPN effects. Despite showing generally the largest ERP amplitudes, the lTLR group had smaller occipital N1 and left frontal positivity for negative compared with neutral words in the N1 window. Only lTLR also had smaller left parietal P2 and larger right parietal P3 and LPP for negative words, indicating a contra-resectional shift in activation. These data help specify left and right anteromedial temporal lobe contributions to the processing of negative and neutral words. They indicate that right hemisphere resections impair rapid pre-lexical selective processing of negative words in a similar way as previously shown for faces and pictures. LTLR affects primarily the N1 which might indicate altered lexical access. Interestingly, negative words elicited EPN and LPP effects in both patient groups which, together with the behavioral data indicates a considerable amount of residual processing of emotion from language following medial temporal lobe resections. This indicates that extraction of emotional significance from words is supported by bilaterally distributed brain regions and relies only partly on the medial temporal lobes of either hemisphere.

Topic Areas: Meaning: Lexical Semantics, Reading

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