Huntington's disease impairs recognition of angry and instrumental body language
de Gelder, Beatrice × Van den Stock, Jan Balaguer, Ruth de Diego Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine #
Neuropsychologia vol:46 issue:1 pages:369-373
Patients with Huntington's disease (HD) exhibit motor impairments as well as cognitive and emotional deficits. So far impairments in the ability to recognize emotional stimuli have mostly been investigated by using facial expressions and emotional voices. Other important emotional signals are provided by the whole body. To investigate the impact of motor deficits on body recognition and the relation between motor disorders and emotion perception deficits, we tested recognition of emotional body language (instrumental, angry, fearful and sad) in 19 HD patients and their matched controls with a nonverbal whole body expression matching task. Results indicate that HD patients are impaired in recognizing both instrumental and angry whole body postures. Furthermore, the body language perception deficits are correlated with measures of motor deficit. Taken together the results suggest a close relationship between emotion recognition (specifically anger) and motor abilities.