Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Jones, M. 2020. Emotion Recognition in Individuals with Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Megan Jones 2020.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant problem in the United States. TBI often results in behavioral and psychosocial deficits. While an overall impairment in emotion recognition has been observed, some research suggests that negative emotions (anger, sadness, fear) in particular, are more difficult to recognize after sustaining a TBI. Along with impairments in emotion recognition, individuals with TBI are likely to have cognitive deficits due to increased anxiety after sustaining a TBI. The purpose of these studies was to gain a better understanding of emotion recognition after an individual has sustained a TBI. The aim of study one was to examine the impact of providing context on accuracy of emotion recognition in individuals with TBI compared to healthy individuals. For study one, participant data for individuals with TBI was compared to healthy peers. Finally, the aim of study two was to observe the impact of providing context on fear recognition for anxious individuals that have sustained a TBI. For study two, results were observed in individuals with TBI. Results showed that there was a main effect of context whereby participants for both the healthy control group and the TBI group performed more accurately on emotion recognition when presented with context, however, there was a larger effect for individuals with TBI. Furthermore, individuals with TBI presenting with greater anxiety need contextual clues to identify fear. These findings have larger implications for interventions focusing on emotion recognition post injury.