Facial affect recognition across the adult life span

Elham MOOSAVIAN, Fatemeh BORRY
1.725 715

Abstract


Introduction: The results of the researches have shown expression and recognition of emotion are two of the basic skills on which normal social interaction is based. As people grow older, they may become wiser and more experienced in interacting with other people, but they can also experience memory loss and cognitive slow-down, influencing the quality of relations in their daily routines. Experimental studies indicate that facial affect recognition, particularly negative emotions, decreases with age. However, there is no consensus at with age the decrease in emotion recognition begin, and how selective this is to negative emotions. Material and method: In the current study, 86 participants ranging in age from 18 to 65 years were asked to recognize emotion expressed facially with pictures of facial affect (Ekman and Friesen, 1976). Findings: in general, older participants were found to be less accurate at recognizing emotions with the most distinctive age difference pertaining to a certain group of negative emotions. Result revealed an age related decline in the recognition of sadness, fear, surprise and disgust, starting at about 40 years of age.  Discussion and conclusion: implication of age-related differences in facial emotion expression and early onset of the selective decrease in emotion recognition are discussed in terms of previous findings, relevant theoretical model and studies from the neuropsychological and functional imaging literature that indicate the separate brain regions underlie these emotions.

 


Keywords


Facial affect recognition, cognitive functioning, neuropsychology, life span

Full Text:

PDF


References


group Group 1 Group 3 Group 3 Group 3 Group 2 Group 3 Group 3 Group 2 Group 3 Group 3 Group 2 Group 3 Group 3 Standard error 1.31 1.33 1.46 .68 2.1 .38 .60 .61 .67 .36 .37 .41 1.43 .99 .00 Group 2 .00

Group 1: people in 18 to 30, group 2: people in 30 to 50, group 3: people more than 50

In order to check this subject that in which age there is deficit in recognition of effect of sadness,

fear, disgust and surprise in life span, the people of sample group were divided in to 5 groups of

less than 20, among 21 to 30, among 31 to 40, among 41 to 50 and more than 51 and in terms of

mentioned affects recognition were compared, as it is shown in table 3 from more than 40 the

gradual decrease of all mentioned affect recognition are observed, due to these finding the results

of Pearson correlation shows that there is negative significant correlation between age and

surprise affects (r=-0.29, P=0.00), fear (r=-0.40, P=0.00), sorrow (r=-0.40, P=0.00), hate (r=

0.35, P= 0.00). It means with age increase there is a significant reduction in correct recognition

of these affects while it is not observed about other affects.

Figure 3. The mean of different affects recognition in different age groups separately. CONCLUSION

The purpose of present study is facial affect recognition across the adult life span, the results of

research show that with increasing age, gradual reduction of facial affect recognition happens.

This deficit started from the age of 40, till finally after the age of 50 this deference in recognition

Adams, R. B., Gordon, H. L., Baird, A. A., Ambady, N and Kleck, R. E. (2003). Gaze

differentially modulates amygdala sensitivity to anger and fear faces.Science, 300, 1536.

Adolphs, R; Tranel, D; Damasio, H and Damasio, A. (1994).Impaired recognition of

emotion in facial expressions following bilateral damage to the human amygdala.Nature, 372,669-72.

Adolphs, R; Tranel, D; Damasio, H; Damasio, AR. (1995).Fear and the human

amygdala.Journal of Neuroscience , 15,5879-91.

Adolphs, R. (2006). How do we know the minds of others? Domain- specificity,

simulation, and enactive social cognition, Brain Research, 1079, 25-35.

Adolphs, R.( 2002). Neural systems for recognizing emotion.Current Opinion in

Neurobiology, 12, 169-177.

Adolphs, R., Russell, J. A., &Tranel, D. (1999). A role for the human amygdala in

recognizing emotional arousal. Psychological Science, 10, 167-171.

Blair, R. J. R., Morris, J. S., Frith, C. D., Perrett, D. I., & Dolan, R. (1999). Dissociable

neural responses to facial expressions of sadness and anger.Brain, 122, 883- 893.

Breiter, H.C; Etcoff, N.L; Whalen, P.J; Kennedy, W.A; Rauch, S.L; Buckner, R.L; et al.

(1996). Response and habituation of the human amygdala during visual processing of facial

expression.Neuron , 17,875-87.

Burke, D.M; and Mackay, D.G. (1997). Memory, language and ageing.Philisophical

Transactions of the Royal Society London, 352, 1845-56. [10] Calder, A. J., Young, A. W., Rowland, D., Perrett, D. I., Hodges, J. R., &Etcoff, N. L.

(1996). Face perception after bilateral amygdala damage: Differentially severe impairment

of fear.Cognitive Neuropsychology, 13, 699 -745. [11] Calder, A.J., Keane, J., Manly, T., Sprengelmeyer, R., Scott, S., Nimmo-Smith, I., Young,

A.W. (2003).Facial expression recognition across the adult life span.Neuropsychologia ,41, 195-202. [12] Calder, A.J., Lawrence, A.D., Young, A.W. ( 2001). Neuropsychology of fear and

loathing.Nature Reviews Neuroscience ,2, 352-363. [13] Carstensen, L.L., and Charles, S.T.( 1998). Emotion in the second half of life.Current

Directions in Psychological Science, 7, 144-149. [14] Carstensen, L.L., Isaacowitz, D.M., Charles, S.T. (1999). Taking time seriously-a theory of socioemotional selectivity. American Psychologist, 54, 165-181. [15] Ekman, P., and Friesen, W.V. (1976). Pictures of Facial Affect. Consulting Psychologists

Press, Palo Alto, California. [16] Gross, J.J., Carstensen, L.L., Pasupathi, M., Tsai, J., Skorpen, C.G., and Hsu, A.Y.C.

(1997).Emotion and aging-experience, expression, and control.Psychology and Aging, 12, 590-599. [17] Isaacowitz DM, Charles ST, Carstensen LL. Emotion and cognition. In: Salthouse TA,

editor. The handbook of aging and cognition.Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Inc.; 2000. p. 593-631. [18] Kim, H., Somerville, L. H., Johnstone, T., Alexander, A., & Whalen, P. J.(2003). Inverse

amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex responses to surprised faces.NeuroReport, 14, 2317- 2322. [19] MacPherson, S. E., Phillips, L. H., & Della Sala, S. (2002). Age, executive function, and

social decision making: A dorsolateral prefrontal theory of cognitive aging. Psychology and

Aging, 17, 598 - 609. [20] Mather, M., and Carstensen, L.L. (2005). Aging and motivated cognition—the positivity

effect in attention and memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 496-502. [21] McDowell, C.L., Harrison, D.W., Demaree, H.A. (1994). Is right-hemisphere decline in

the perception of emotion a function of aging? International Journal of Neuroscience, 79, 1- 11. [22] Mill, A; Allik, AR and Valk, R. (2009). Age related differences in emotion recognition

ability; across-sectional study. Emotion, 9 (5), 619-630. [23] Moreno, C., Borod, J. C., Welkowitz, J., & Alpert, M. (1993).The perception of facial

emotion across the adult life-span. Developmental Neuropsychology, 9, 305-314. [24] Morris JS, Frith CD, Perrett DI, Rowland D, Young AW, Calder AJ, et al. (1996). A

differential neural response in the human amygdala to fearful and happy facial

expressions.Nature ,383,812-5. [25] Petit-Taboue, M. C., Landeau, B., Desson, J. F., Desgranges, B., & Baron, ´J. C. (1998).

Effects of healthy aging on the regional cerebral metabo- lism rate of glucose assessed with

statistical parametric mapping.Neu- roImage, 7, 176 -184. [26] Phan, K. L., Taylor, S. F., Welsh, R. C., Ho, S.-H., Britton, J. C., &Liberzon, I. (2004).

Neural correlates of individual ratings of emotional salience: A trial-related fMRI

study.NeuroImage, 21, 768 -780. [27] Phillips ML, Young AW, Scott SK, Calder AJ, Andrew C, GiampietroV, et al. (1998).

Neural responses to facial and vocal expressions of fear and disgust. Proceedings of the

Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences ,265,1809-17. [28] Phillips ML, Young AW, Senior C, Brammer M, Andrew C, Calder AJ, et al.(1997). A

specific neural substrate for perceiving facial expressions of disgust.Nature , 389,495-8. [29] Phillips, L.H., and Allen, R.( 2004). Adult aging and the perceived intensity of emotions in faces

and stories.Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 16, 190-199. [30] Phillips, L.H., MacLean, R.D.J., and Allen, R. (2002).Age and the understanding of

emotions—neuropsychological and sociocognitive perspectives. Journals of Gerontology

Series B-Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences ,57, 526- 530. [31] Phillips, M. L., Young, A. W., Scott, S. K., Calder, A. J., Andrew, C., Giampietro, V., et

al. (1998). Neural responses to facial and vocal expressions of fear and disgust.

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 265, 1809 -1817. [32] Phillips, M. L., Young, A. W., Senior, C., Brammer, M., Andrew, C., Calder, A. J., et al.

(1997).A specific neural substrate for perceiving facial expressions of disgust. Nature, 389, 495- 498. [33] Raz N. (2000). Aging of the brain and its impact on cognitive performance: integration of

structural and functional findings. In: Salthouse TA, editor. The handbook of aging and cognition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. [34] Raz, N., Rodrigue, K.M., Kennedy, K.M., Head, D., Gunning-Dixon, F., Acker, J.D.( 2003).

Differential aging of the human striatum—longitudinal evidence.American Journal of

Neuroradiology, 24, 1849-1856. [35] Ruffman, T., Henry, J. D., Livingstone, V., & Phillips, L. H. (2008). A meta-analytic review

of emotion recognition and aging: Implications for neuropsychological models of

aging.Neuroscience and BiobehavioralReviews, 32, 863- 881. [36] Salthouse, T. A. (1998). Independence of age-related influences on cognitive abilities

across the life span.Developmental Psychology, 34, 851- 864. [37] Salthouse, T. A. (2004). What and when of cognitive aging.Current Directions in

Psychological Science, 13, 140 -144. [38] Salthouse, T. A., Atkinson, T. M., &Berish, D. E. (2003).Executive functioning as a

potential mediator of age-related cognitive decline in normal adults.Journal of Experimental

Psychology, 132, 566 -594. [39] Schneider BA, Pichora-Fuller MK. (2000).Implications of perceptual deterioration for

cognitive aging research. In: Salthouse TA, editor. The handbook of aging and cognition.

Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. [40] Schneider, F., Habel, U., Kessler, C., Salloum, J. B., & Posse, S. (2000). Gender differences

in regional cerebral activity during sadness.Human Brain Mapping, 9, 226 -238. [41] Sowell, E. R., Peterson, B. S., Thompson, P. M., Welcome, S. E., Henke- nius, A. L., &

Toga, A. W. (2003). Mapping cortical change across the human life span.Nature

Neuroscience, 6, 309 -315. [42] Sprengelmeyer R, Rausch M, Eysel UT, Przuntek H. Neural structures associated with

recognition of facial expressions of basic emotions. (1998).Proceedings of the Royal

Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences , 265,1927-31. [43] Sullivan, S., &Ruffman, T. (2004a). Emotion recognition deficits in the

elderly.International Journal of Neuroscience, 114, 403- 432. [44] Sullivan, S., &Ruffman, T. (2004b). Social understanding: How does it fare with advancing

years? British Journal of Psychology, 95, 1-18. [45] Suzuki, A., Hoshino, T., Shigemasu, K., & Kawamura, M. (2007).Decline or

improvement?Age-related differences in facial expression recogni- tion.Biological

Psychology, 74, 75- 84. [46] Verhaegen, P., &Salthouse, T. A. (1997). Meta-analyses of age-cognition relations in

adulthood: Estimates of linear and nonlinear age effects and structural models.

Psychological Bulletin, 122, 231-249. [47] Walhovd, K. B., Fjell, A. M., Reinvang, I., Lundervold, A., Dale, A. M., Eilertsen, D. E.,

et al. (2005). Effects of age on volumes of cortex, white matter and subcortical

structures.Neurobiology of Aging, 26, 1261- 1270. [48] Young, A.W; Perrett, D.I; Calder, A.J; Sprengelmeyer, R; and Ekman, P. (2002).Facial

expressions of emotion: stimuli and tests (FEEST). Bury St. Edmunds: Thames Valley Test Company.