Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2004 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 > Alterations of the Sense of “Humanness” in Right Hemisphere...
Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology:
Experimental Studies

Alterations of the Sense of “Humanness” in Right Hemisphere Predominant Frontotemporal Dementia Patients

Mendez, Mario F MD, PhD; Lim, Gerald T. H MD

Collapse Box


Objective: To evaluate the sense of “humanness” in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients with right hemispheric involvement.

Background: Early in the course, FTD is often asymmetric, and those with predominant right frontotemporal disease have disproportionate disturbances in social behavior and empathy. A disruption in a sense of humanness may underlie these behavioral disturbances.

Method: Sixteen patients with asymmetric FTD on functional neuroimaging underwent recognition tests of facial masking, human-animal morphing, and facial distortion. Additional tests evaluated facial discrimination and the recognition of famous faces, facial emotions, and animate–inanimate differences.

Results: On the distorted and morphed face tasks, 8 FTD patients with predominant right hemisphere involvement were significantly more likely to call morphed and distorted faces “human” as compared with both 8 FTD patients with predominant left hemisphere involvement and normal controls. The FTD groups did not differ on thresholds for recognizing masked faces or on other face recognition measures.

Conclusions: In FTD, right hemispheric involvement may alter the threshold for judging someone as human independent of the recognition of faces or facial affect. These results suggest that a specific sense of humanness facilitates a person recognition network in the right frontotemporal region of the brain.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.