Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Facial emotion recognition in patients with subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment

  • J. Pietschnig (a1) (a2), R. Aigner-Wöber (a1), N. Reischenböck (a1), I. Kryspin-Exner (a1), D. Moser (a3), S. Klug (a3), E. Auff (a3), P. Dal-Bianco (a3), G. Pusswald (a3) and J. Lehrner (a3)...

Abstract

Background:

Deficits in facial emotion recognition (FER) have been shown to substantially impair several aspects in everyday life of affected individuals (e.g. social functioning). Presently, we aim at assessing differences in emotion recognition performance in three patient groups suffering from mild forms of cognitive impairment compared to healthy controls.

Methods:

Performance on a concise emotion recognition test battery (VERT-K) of 68 patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), 44 non-amnestic (non-aMCI), and 25 amnestic patients (aMCI) with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was compared with an age-equivalent sample of 138 healthy controls all of which were recruited within the framework of the Vienna Conversion to Dementia Study. Additionally, patients and controls underwent individual assessment using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery examining attention, executive functioning, language, and memory (NTBV), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and a measure of premorbid IQ (WST).

Results:

Type of diagnosis showed a significant effect on emotion recognition performance, indicating progressively deteriorating results as severity of diagnosis increased. Between-groups effect sizes were substantial, showing non-trivial effects in all comparisons (Cohen's ds from −0.30 to −0.83) except for SCD versus controls. Moreover, emotion recognition performance was higher in women and positively associated with premorbid IQ.

Conclusions:

Our findings indicate substantial effects of progressive neurological damage on emotion recognition in patients. Importantly, emotion recognition deficits were observable in non-amnestic patients as well, thus conceivably suggesting associations between decreased recognition performance and global cognitive decline. Premorbid IQ appears to act as protective factor yielding lesser deficits in patients showing higher IQs.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Priv. Doz. Mag. Dr. J. Lehrner, Department of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel, 18-20, A-1097, Wien. Phone: 0043-1-40400-31090; Fax: 0043-1-40400-31410. Email: johann.lehrner@meduniwien.ac.at.

References

Hide All
Allender, J. and Kaszniak, A. W. (1989). Processing of emotional cues in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer's type. International Journal of Neuroscience, 46, 147155.
Anderson, I. M. et al. (2011). State-dependent alteration in face emotion recognition in depression. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 198, 302308.
Bio, D. S., Soeiro-de-Souza, M. G., Garcia Otaduy, M. C., Machado-Vieira, R. and Moreno, R. A. (2013). The impact of limbic system morphology on facial emotion recognition in bipolar I disorder and healthy controls. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 9, 743751.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edn. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
Derntl, B., Kryspin-Exner, I., Fernbach, E., Moser, E. and Habel, U. (2008). Emotion recognition accuracy in healthy young females is associated with cycle phase. Hormones and Behavior, 53, 9095.
Folstein, M., Folstein, S. and Hugh, P. R. (1975). Mini-Mental State: a practical method for grading the cognitive stat of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189198.
Gatterer, G. (2008). Alters-Konzentrations-Test (AKT) (2nd restandardized edition). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
Goodglass, H. and Kaplan, P. (1983). The Assessment of Aphasia and Related Disorders, 2nd edn. Philadelphia: Lea and Fabinger.
Grundman, M. et al. (2004). Mild cognitive impairment can be distinguished from Alzheimer disease and normal aging for clinical trials. Archives of Neurology, 61, 5966.
Hargrave, R., Maddock, R. J. and Stone, V. (2002). Impaired recognition of facial expressions of emotion in Alzheimer's disease. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 14, 6471.
Hautzinger, M., Keller, F. and Kühner, C. (2006). Beck Depressions-Inventar, Revision (BDI-II). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Harcourt.
He, J., Farias, S., Martinez, O., Reed, B., Mungas, D. and DeCarli, C. (2009). Differences in brain volume, hippocampal volume, cerebrovascular risk factors, and apoliprotein E4 among mild cognitive impairment subtypes. JAMA Neurology, 66, 13931399.
Hoffmann, H., Kessler, H., Eppel, T., Rukavina, S. and Traue, H. C. (2010). Expression intensity, gender and facial emotion recognition: women recognize only subtle facial emotions better than men. Acta Psychologica, 135, 278283.
Hoheisel, B. and Kryspin-Exner, I. (2005). Emotionserkennung in Gesichtern und emotionales Gesichtergedachtnis: neuropsychologische Erkenntnisse und Darstellung von Einflussfaktoren [Emotion recognition and memory for emotional faces: neuropsychological findings and influencing factors]. Zeitschrift fur Neuropsychologie, 16, 7787.
Jessen, F. et al. (2014). A conceptual framework for research on subjective cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer and Dementia, 10, 844852.
Kohler, C. G., Bilker, W., Hagendoorn, M., Gur, R. E. and Gur, R. C. (2000). Emotion recognition deficit in schizophrenia: association with symptomatology and cognition. Biological Psychiatry, 48, 127136.
Kumfor, F. and Piguet, O. (2013). Emotion recognition in the dementias: brain correlates and patient implications. Neurodegenerative Disease Management, 3, 277288.
Kumfor, F., Sapey-Triomphe, L.-A., Leyton, C. E., Burrell, J. R., Hodges, J. R. and Piguet, O. (2014). Degradation of emotion processing ability in corticobasal syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Brain, 137, 30613072.
Lehrl, S. and Fischer, B. (1997). Kurztest für cerebrale Insuffizienz (c.I. Test) [A short test for cerebral insufficiency (c.I. Test)]. Ebersberg, Germany: Vless.
Lehrner, J., Gleiss, A., Maly, J., Auff, E. and Dal-Bianco, P. (2006). Der verbale selektive reminding test (VSRT): ein Verfahren zur Überprüfung verbaler Gedächtnisfunktionen. Neuropsychiatrie, 20, 204214.
McCade, D., Savage, G., Guastella, A., Hickie, I., Lewis, S. J. and Naismith, S. L. (2013). Emotion recognition in Mild Cognitive Impairment: relationship to psychosocial disability and caregiver burden. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 26, 165173.
McCade, D., Savage, G. and Naismith, S. L. (2011). Review of emotion recognition in mild cognitive impairment. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 32, 257266.
Morris, J. C. et al. (1989). The consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer's disease (CERAD): part 1. Clinical and neuropsychological assessment of Alzheimer's disease. Neurology, 39, 11591165.
Oswald, W. D. and Fleischmann, U. M. (1997). Das Nürnberger-Alters-Inventar [Nürnberger Geriatric Inventory]. Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
Petersen, R. C. and Negash, S. (2008). Mild cognitive impairment: an overview. CNS Spectrum, 3, 4553.
Pusswald, G. et al. (2013). Prevalence of mild cognitive impairment subtypes in patients attending a memory outpatient clinic–comparison of two modes of mild cognitive impairment classification: results of the Vienna conversion to dementia study. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 9, 366376.
R Development Core Team (2014). R: a language and environment for statistical computing (Version 3.1.1) [Computer software]. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
Regard, M., Strauss, E. and Knapp, P. (1982). Children's production on verbal and non-verbal fluency tasks. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 55, 839844.
Reitan, R. (1979). Trail Making Test (TMT). Tucson, AZ: Reitan Neuropsychology Laboratory.
Sun, Y., Yang, F.-C., Lin, C.-P. and Han, Y. (2015). Biochemical and neuroimaging studies in subjective cognitive decline: progress and perspectives. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, in press. doi:10.1111/cns.12395.
Schmidt, K.-H. and Metzler, P. (1992). Wortschatztest (WST): Ein Rasch-skalierter Test zur Abschätzung der verbalen Intelligenz [Vocabulary test (WST): a Rasch-calibrated test for assessment of verbal intelligence]. Weinheim, Germany: Beltz.
Snowden, J. S., Austin, N. A., Sembi, S., Thompson, J. C., Craufurd, D. and Neary, D. (2008). Emotion recognition in Huntington's disease and frontotemporal dementia. Neuropsychologia, 46, 26382649.
Sullivan, S. and Ruffman, T. (2004). Emotion recognition deficits in the elderly. International Journal of Neuroscience, 114, 403432.
Tewes, U. (1994). Hamburg-Wechsler-Intelligenztest für Erwachsene-Revision 1991 (HAWIE-R) [The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised 1991 (HAWIE-R)]. Bern, Switzerland: Huber.
Vandekerckhove, M. et al. (2014). Impaired facial emotion recognition in patients with ventromedial prefrontal hypoperfusion. Neuropsychology, 28, 605612.
Vos, S. J. B. et al. (2013). Prediction of Alzheimer disease in subjects with amnestic and nonamnestic MCI. Neurology, 80, 11241132.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed