Impaired emotion recognition in music in Parkinson's disease.Brain Cogn. 2010 Oct; 74(1):58-65.BC
Music has the potential to evoke strong emotions and plays a significant role in the lives of many people. Music might therefore be an ideal medium to assess emotion recognition. We investigated emotion recognition in music in 20 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) and 20 matched healthy volunteers. The role of cognitive dysfunction and other disease characteristics in emotion recognition was also evaluated. We used 32 musical excerpts that expressed happiness, sadness, fear or anger. PD patients were impaired in recognizing fear and anger in music. Fear recognition was associated with executive functions in PD patients and in healthy controls, but the emotion recognition impairments of PD patients persisted after adjusting for executive functioning. We found no differences in the recognition of happy or sad music. Emotion recognition was not related to depressive symptoms, disease duration or severity of motor symptoms. We conclude that PD patients are impaired in recognizing complex emotions in music. Although this impairment is related to executive dysfunction, our findings most likely reflect an additional primary deficit in emotional processing.