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Recognition of emotion from body language among patients with unipolar depression

Loi, Felice and Vaidya, Jatin G. and Paradiso, Sergio (2013) Recognition of emotion from body language among patients with unipolar depression. Psychiatry Research, 209 (1). pp. 40-49. ISSN 0165-1781.

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Major depression may be associated with abnormal perception of emotions and impairment in social adaptation. Emotion recognition from body language and its possible implications to social adjustment have not been examined in patients with depression. Three groups of participants (51 with depression; 68 with history of depression in remission; and 69 never depressed healthy volunteers) were compared on static and dynamic tasks of emotion recognition from body language. Psychosocial adjustment was assessed using the Social Adjustment Scale Self-Report (SAS-SR). Participants with current depression showed reduced recognition accuracy for happy stimuli across tasks relative to remission and comparison participants. Participants with depression tended to show poorer psychosocial adaptation relative to remission and comparison groups. Correlations between perception accuracy of happiness and scores on the SAS-SR were largely not significant. These results indicate that depression is associated with reduced ability to appraise positive stimuli of emotional body language but emotion recognition performance is not tied to social adjustment. These alterations do not appear to be present in participants in remission suggesting state-like qualities.

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Additional Information:© 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Received 12 March 2012. Received in revised form 20 February 2013. Accepted 2 March 2013. The authors thank Lavanya Vijayaraghavan, MBBS, MSc. for her valuable comments on this research and Erika Holm-Brown for data collection. Thanks to Ralph Adolphs for his supportive mentorship to Sergio Paradiso and to Andrea Heberlein for providing some of the stimuli used in this study. Sergio Paradiso was supported by the Dana foundation, the Mallinckrodt foundation, NARSAD and the National Institute on Aging (5K23AG027837). Felice Loi expresses his gratitude to Anna Maria Fogliani, Director of the School of Specialization in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Catania (Italy)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Dana FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Mallinckrodt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Brain and Behavior Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
National Institute on Aging5K23AG027837
Subject Keywords:Emotion; Body language; Unipolar depression; Psychosocial adjustment; Social cognition
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131001-072423866
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Official Citation:Felice Loi, Jatin G. Vaidya, Sergio Paradiso, Recognition of emotion from body language among patients with unipolar depression, Psychiatry Research, Volume 209, Issue 1, 30 August 2013, Pages 40-49, ISSN 0165-1781, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41575
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:01 Oct 2013 21:16
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:50

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