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Musical mood induction and perception of  facial emotions in depressed elderly patients 

Musical mood induction and perception of  facial emotions in depressed elderly patients 

Presenter Name:Florian Gay

School/Affiliation:University of Bordeaux, France

Co-Authors:Mokhtaria Bentaleb, Sarah Vieira Da Silva, Bernard Laurent, Elodie Pongan, Isabelle Rouch, Barbara Tillmann, Jean-Michel Dorey, Yohana Levêque


Depression is characterized by a general deficit in facial emotion recognition, and a negative mood-congruent bias, underlain by attentional, interpretational and memory biases towards negative aspects of experiences. Although this has been explored in young adults, little data is available in elderly people.

Our objectives were to explore whether late-life depression is associated with general lower accuracy and/or with negative bias in a facial emotion recognition task, and to assess the effect of positive musical mood induction on facial emotion processing compared to neutral musical mood induction, in elderly subjects with or without depression.

Depressed patients (n=8) and matched healthy controls (n=13) aged 60 or more were included in this prospective randomized controlled trial in a cross-over design. Participants underwent twice an emotion recognition task, after happy or neutral musical mood induction. Accuracy in labelling four basic emotions (joy, sadness, fear, neutral), intensity ratings and their respective response times were measured. Emotion labelling errors were reported in confusion matrices.

Statistical analysis on this preliminary sample did not evidence overall lower accuracy in labelling emotions nor negative bias in elderly population. No significant effect of positive musical- mood induction was found in patients. On the contrary, after positive mood induction, controls were more accurate to label neutral emotions, and judged neutral faces more positively than after neutral mood induction.

These preliminary results must be confirmed after inclusion of the expected number of subjects. Further studies are required to separately explore negative bias during attentional, interpretation and memory stages of affective processing.

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