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Differences in the recognition of facial emotions between elderly with and without major neurocognitive disorder

Grant number: 16/20736-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2017
Effective date (End): May 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal Investigator:Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas
Grantee:Bianca Letícia Cavalmoretti Ferreira
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The recognition of facial emotions (RFE) is essential to human interaction and coexistence in society, since it is related to the ability to interpret feelings and emotions of another person. Previous studies have described a decline in the ability to recognize facial emotions with ageing, indicating a worse performance in tasks of RFE in elderly, as well as in those with dementia. Nevertheless, no studies have yet been conducted using the new criteria for dementia/major neurocognitive disorder (TNM) proposed by the DSM-5. In addition, only one study has been conducted to compare the differences in RFE between elderly with Alzheimer's disease and with vascular dementia. The aim of this study is to compare the ability of recognition of the six basic facial emotions (sadness, happiness, disgust, surprise, fear and anger) between three groups: I) 20 elderly patients with TNM due to Alzheimer's disease; II) 20 elderly patients with TNM vascular; and III) 20 elderly without TNM matched for sex, age and years of education. The recognition of facial emotion task will consist in the presentation of 96 images of actors faces of both sexes with emotions in different intensities (40%, 60%, 80% or 100%). Our hypothesis is that elderly with TNM have deficits in identifying basic facial emotions compared to elderly without TNM. (AU)

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