Emotion perception and electrophysiological correlates in Huntington's disease

Croft, R. J., McKernan, F., Gray, M., Churchyard, A. and Georgiou-Karistianis, N. (2014) Emotion perception and electrophysiological correlates in Huntington's disease. Clinical Neurophysiology, 125 8: 1618-1625. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2013.12.111

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Author Croft, R. J.
McKernan, F.
Gray, M.
Churchyard, A.
Georgiou-Karistianis, N.
Title Emotion perception and electrophysiological correlates in Huntington's disease
Journal name Clinical Neurophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1388-2457
Publication date 2014-01-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.12.111
Volume 125
Issue 8
Start page 1618
End page 1625
Total pages 8
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• This study confirms an emotional face processing deficit in Huntington’s disease (HD).
• This study demonstrates the electrophysiological underpinnings of the emotional processing deficit in HD.
• This study suggests that the emotional processing deficit in HD is caused by a generic visual processing deficit.

Objective This study aimed to characterise, emotion perception deficits in symptomatic Huntington’s disease (HD) via the use of event-related potentials (ERPs).

Methods ERP data were recorded during a computerised facial expression task in 11 HD participants and 11 matched controls. Expression (scrambled, neutral, happy, angry, disgust) classification accuracy and intensity were assessed. Relationships between ERP indices and clinical disease characteristics were also examined.

Results Accuracy was significantly lower for HD relative to controls, due to reduced performance for neutral, angry and disgust (but not happy) faces. Intensity ratings did not differ between groups. HD participants displayed significantly reduced visual processing amplitudes extending across pre-face (P100) and face-specific (N170) processing periods, whereas subsequent emotion processing amplitudes (N250) were similar across groups. Face-specific and emotion-specific derivations of the N170 and N250 (‘neutral minus scrambled’ and ‘each emotion minus neutral’, respectively) did not differ between groups.

Conclusions Our data suggest that the facial emotion recognition performance deficits in HD are primarily related to neural degeneration underlying ‘generalised’ visual processing, rather than face or emotional specific processing.

Significance ERPs are a useful tool to separate functionally discreet impairments in HD, and provide an important avenue for biomarker application that could more-selectively track disease progression.
Keyword Huntington's disease
Emotion perception
Electroencephalography (EEG)
Event related potential (ERP)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 10 January 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 19 Feb 2014, 00:06:45 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of Centre for Advanced Imaging