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Understanding the role of configural processing in face emotion recognition in Parkinson’s disease

Cousins, Rosanna and Pettigrew, Anne and Ferrie, Olivia and Hanley, J Richard (2021) 'Understanding the role of configural processing in face emotion recognition in Parkinson’s disease.' Journal of Neuropsychology, 15 (S1). pp. 8-26. ISSN 1748-6645

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This investigation examined whether impairment in configural processing could explain deficits in face emotion recognition in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Stimuli from the Radboud Faces Database were used to compare recognition of four negative emotion expressions by older adults with PD (n=16) and matched controls (n=17). Participants were tasked with categorising emotional expressions from upright and inverted whole faces and facial composites; it is difficult to derive configural information from these two types of stimuli so featural processing should play a larger than usual role in accurate recognition of emotional expressions. We found that the PD group were impaired relative to controls in recognising anger, disgust and fearful expressions in upright faces. Then, consistent with a configural processing deficit, participants with PD showed no composite effect when attempting to identify facial expressions of anger, disgust and fear. A face inversion effect, however, was observed in the performance of all participants in both the whole faces and facial composites tasks. These findings can be explained in terms of a configural processing deficit if it is assumed that the disruption caused by facial composites was specific to configural processing, whereas inversion reduced performance by making it difficult to derive both featural and configural information from faces.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: composite faces; configural processing; face emotion recognition; face inversion effect; Parkinson’s disease
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2020 15:11
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 13:28

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