Early Emotional Attention is Impacted in Alzheimer’s Disease: An Eye-Tracking Study.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;63(4):1445-1458
Authors: Bourgin J, Guyader N, Chauvin A, Juphard A, Sauvée M, Moreaud O, Silvert L, Hot P
Emotional deficits have been repetitively reported in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) without clearly identifying how emotional processing is impaired in this pathology. This paper describes an investigation of early emotional processing, as measured by the effects of emotional visual stimuli on a saccadic task involving both pro (PS) and anti (AS) saccades. Sixteen patients with AD and 25 age-matched healthy controls were eye-tracked while they had to quickly move their gaze toward a positive, negative, or neutral image presented on a computer screen (in the PS condition) or away from the image (in the AS condition). The age-matched controls made more AS mistakes for negative stimuli than for other stimuli, and triggered PSs toward negative stimuli more quickly than toward other stimuli. In contrast, patients with AD showed no difference with regard to the emotional category in any of the tasks. The present study is the first to highlight a lack of early emotional attention in patients with AD. These results should be taken into account in the care provided to patients with AD, since this early impairment might seriously degrade their overall emotional functioning.
PMID: 29782325 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]