Emotion Recognition in Parkinson’s Disease: Static and Dynamic Factors

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Objective: The authors tested the hypothesis that Parkinson’s disease (PD) participants would perform better in an emotion recognition task with dynamic (video) stimuli compared to a task using only static (photograph) stimuli and compared performances on both tasks to healthy control participants. Method: In a within-subjects study, 21 PD participants and 20 age-matched healthy controls performed both static and dynamic emotion recognition tasks. The authors used a 2-way analysis of variance (controlling for individual participant variance) to determine the effect of group (PD, control) on emotion recognition performance in static and dynamic facial recognition tasks. Results: Groups did not significantly differ in their performances on the static and dynamic tasks; however, the trend was suggestive that PD participants performed worse than controls. Conclusions: PD participants may have subtle emotion recognition deficits that are not ameliorated by the addition of contextual cues, similar to those found in everyday scenarios. Consistent with previous literature, the results suggest that PD participants may have underlying emotion recognition deficits, which may impact their social functioning.

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