Personal space regulation is affected by unilateral temporal lesions beyond the amygdala

Audrey Dureux, Luca Zigiotto, Silvio Sarubbo, Clément Desoche, Alessandro Farnè, Nadia Bolognini, Fadila Hadj-Bouziane
2022 Cerebral Cortex Communications  
We constantly face situations involving interactions with others that require us to automatically adjust our physical distances to avoid discomfort or anxiety. To the best of our knowledge, only one case study has demonstrated that the integrity of both amygdalae is essential to regulate interpersonal distances. While unilateral lesion to the amygdala and lesion to other sectors of the medial temporal cortex also affect social behavior, their implication in the regulation of interpersonal
more » ... ces has never been investigated. We sought to fill this gap by testing three patients with unilateral temporal lesions following surgical resections, including one patient with a lesion mainly centered on the amygdala and two with lesions to adjacent medial temporal cortex. All 3 patients chose shorter interpersonal distances compared to neurotypical control subjects. In addition, compared to controls, patients did not adjust physical distances depending on facial emotional expressions despite a preserved ability to categorize them. Finally, patients and controls displayed different heart rate responses when viewing approaching faces. This study brings new evidence demonstrating that unilateral lesion within the medial temporal cortex, restricted or not to the amygdala, is sufficient to alter interpersonal distance that governs social interactions.
doi:10.1093/texcom/tgac031 pmid:36072709 pmcid:PMC9441012 fatcat:uxyclzymrzfktbu3nfiv2myzom