After a stroke damaged parts of his brain, a 25-year-old man lost much of his ability to
experience disgust, according to a report in the November Nature Neuroscience. The specific
brain areas damaged in the stroke process all sorts of sensory and social cues for disgust, contends
a team led by neuroscientist Andrew J. Calder of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England.
Prior studies had implicated these brain areas, the insula and putamen, only in perceiving
facial expressions of disgust.
The brain-damaged man, called NK by the researchers, displayed average intelligence and
good vision and hearing. Calder's group compared his performance on emotion-recognition
tests with that of 20 adults with uninjured brains.
When shown pictures of faces expressing various emotions—anger, contempt, disgust, fear,
happiness, sadness, and surprise—NK erred frequently only in identifying instanc