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Emotion perception may be impaired after stroke. No study on emotion perception after stroke has taken the influence of post-stroke depressive symptoms into account, although depressive symptoms themselves may hamper emotion perception.
To compare the perception of emotional facial expressions in stroke patients with and without depressive symptoms.
Twenty-two stroke patients participated whose depressive symptoms were classified using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (cutoff = 10) and who were compared with healthy controls. Emotion recognition was measured using morphed images of facial expressions.
Patients with depressive symptoms performed worse than controls on all emotions; patients without depressive symptoms performed at control level. Patients with depressive symptoms were less sensitive to the emotions anger, happiness and sadness compared with patients without depressive symptoms.
Post-stroke depressive symptoms impair emotion perception. This extends findings in bipolar disorder indicating that emotion perception deficits are strongly related to the level of depression.
Background: Pain poses a major problem in older adults, specifically for those living in homes for the elderly. Previous research indicates that the presence of pain may be associated with changes in cognitive functions. It is unclear, however, how the reported experience of pain relates to cognitive functioning in elderly people with chronic pain. The present study was intended to examine the relationship between clinical pain experience and neuropsychological status in residents of homes for the elderly.
Methods: Forty-one residents suffering from arthritis or arthrosis completed tests measuring memory, processing speed, and executive function. The sensory-discriminative and the affective-motivational aspects of clinical pain were measured.
Results: Performance on executive function tests was positively related to self-reported pain experience. No relationship was observed between pain and memory or processing speed performance.
Conclusion: The present study shows that executive functioning is related to the severity of subjectively reported pain. Possible explanations for this association are discussed.
The functions of the somatosensory system are multiple. We use tactile input to localize and experience the various qualities of touch, and proprioceptive information to determine the position of different parts of the body with respect to each other, which provides fundamental information for action. Further, tactile exploration of the characteristics of external objects can result in conscious perceptual experience and stimulus or object recognition. Neuroanatomical studies suggest parallel processing as well as serial processing within the cerebral somatosensory system that reflect these separate functions, with one processing stream terminating in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), and the other terminating in the insula. We suggest that, analogously to the organisation of the visual system, somatosensory processing for the guidance of action can be dissociated from the processing that leads to perception and memory. In addition, we find a second division between tactile information processing about external targets in service of object recognition and tactile information processing related to the body itself. We suggest the posterior parietal cortex subserves both perception and action, whereas the insula principally subserves perceptual recognition and learning.
The commentaries have raised important points regarding different aspects of our model. Some have queried the nature of the proposed dissociations, whereas others have requested and provided further details regarding aspects we had glossed over. Here we suggest that our approach to identify major processing streams based on the processing goal does not preclude interactions between them. We further specify details regarding body representations, haptic object recognition, and crossmodal processing, but are also aware that several features of the model require further filling in.
Although the evidence remains tentative at best, the conception of hallucinations in schizophrenia as being underconstrained perception resulting from intrinsic thalamocortical resonance in sensory areas might complement current models of hallucination. However, in itself, the approach falls short of comprehensively explaining the neurogenesis of hallucinations in schizophrenia, as it neglects the role of external attributional biases, mental imagery, and a disconnection between frontal and temporal areas.
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