August 1977

Quantitative Analysis of Interictal Behavior in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Neurosciences Branch, National Institutes of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Neurol. 1977;34(8):454-467. doi:10.1001/archneur.1977.00500200014003

• Patients with unilateral temporal epileptic foci were contrasted with normal subjects and patients with neuromuscular disorders in the evaluation of specific psychosocial aspects of behavior. Eighteen traits were assessed in equivalent questionnaires completed by both subjects and observers.

The epileptic patients self-reported a distinctive profile of humorless sobriety, dependence, and obsessionalism; raters discriminated temporal lobe epileptics on the basis of circumstantiality, philosophical interests, and anger. The right temporal epileptic displayed emotional tendencies in contrast to ideational traits of left temporal epileptic. Right temporal epileptics exhibited "denial," while left temporal epileptics demonstrated a "catastrophic" overemphasis of dissocial behavior.

The results support the hypotheses that sensory-affective associations are established within the temporal lobes, and that, in man, there exists a hemispheric asymmetry in the expression of affect.