Perception of emotional facial expressions at different intensities in early-symptomatic Huntington's disease
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Neurology, 55, 3, (2006), pp. 151-154
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectCognitive neuroscience; DCN 1: Perception and Action; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; EBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease; EBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; NCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre; NCEBP 8: Psychological determinants of chronic illness; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences; EBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease
BACKGROUND: While there is abundant evidence that patients with Huntington's disease (HD) have an impairment in the recognition of the emotional facial expression of disgust, previous studies have only examined emotion perception using full-blown facial expressions. OBJECTIVE: The current study examines the perception of facial emotional expressions in HD at different levels of intensity to investigate whether more subtle deficits can be detected, possible also in other emotions. METHOD: We compared early symptomatic HD patients with healthy matched controls on emotion perception, presenting short video clips of a neutral face changing into one of the six basic emotions (happiness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust and sadness) with increasing intensity. Overall face perception ability as well as depressive symptoms were taken into account. RESULTS: A specific impairment in recognizing the emotions disgust and anger was found, which was present even at low emotion intensities. CONCLUSION: These results extend previous findings and support the use of more sensitive emotion perception paradigms, which enable the detection of subtle neurobehavioral deficits even in the pre- and early symptomatic stages of the disease.
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