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Perception of facial expressions of emotion in bipolar disorder

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Gray, Professor Allan Young


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Objectives: Some studies have reported deficits in the perception of facial expressions among depressed individuals compared with healthy controls, while others have reported negative biases in expression perception. We examined whether altered perception of emotion reflects an underlying trait-like effect in affective disorder by examining facial expression perception in euthymic bipolar patients. Methods: Sensitivity to six different facial expressions, as well as accuracy of emotion recognition, was examined among 17 euthymic bipolar patients and 17 healthy controls using an interactive computer program. Results: No differences were found between euthymic bipolar patients and controls in terms of sensitivity to any particular emotion. Although initial analysis of the data suggested impairment in the recognition of fear among the patients, identification of this emotion was not relatively impaired compared with that of the other emotions. Conclusions: The study did not find any conclusive evidence for trait-like deficits in the perception of facially conveyed emotions in bipolar disorder. Altered perception of facial expressions that has been found to accompany depressed mood may instead reflect mood-congruent biases. © Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Venn HR, Gray JM, Montagne B, Murray LK, Burt DM, Frigerio E, Perrett DI, Young AH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bipolar Disorders

Year: 2004

Volume: 6

Issue: 4

Pages: 286-293

ISSN (print): 1398-5647

ISSN (electronic): 1399-5618

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2004.00121.x

PubMed id: 15225145


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