Recognition of basic emotions and their main confusers in Alzheimer-type dementia
Introduction. An alteration in the recognition of basic emotions is usually observed in Alzheimer’s type dementia. Although there is some consensus that basic emotions are six, more recent studies conclude that there may be a combination between fear/ surprise and disgust/anger. This pattern has not yet been investigated in the Alzheimer’s type dementia.
Aims. To evaluate if the main confusers are significant as to determine the amount of basic emotions, and to study which are the main confusers, between emotions, that are manifested in patients with Alzheimer’s type dementia.
Patients and methods. Twenty-eight patients were evaluated with the Battery of Facial Recognition of Basic Emotions.
Results. The highest percentages of choice for each emotion, proceeding those of correct answers, correspond to the main confusers (fear × surprise, surprise × fear, and disgust × anger). Significant differences were found between fear correct/surprise × fear, surprise correct/fear × surprise, anger correct/disgust × anger, and disgust correct/anger × disgust.
Conclusions. These results support the classical theory raised on the existence of six basic emotions. As regard as emotional confusers, our results coincide partially with studies which found that the main errors are between anger/disgust and surprise/fear. As an exception, we found in our sample that when the correct answer is anger, the most common response by patients is fear.
Key words. Alzheimer’s disease. Basic emotions. Confusers. Dementia. Facial recognition.