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Jennifer Murphy, Hayley Geary, Edward Millgate, Caroline Catmur, Geoff Bird; Processing speed and fluid intelligence contribute towards decline in facial emotion recognition ability across the adult lifespan. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):570. doi: 10.1167/18.10.570.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
A body of research suggests that advancing age is associated with decline in emotion recognition, though the factors that contribute towards this decline remain unclear. While previous research suggested that declining emotion recognition ability may be related to cognitive (fluid intelligence, processing speed) and affective (e.g., depression) factors, recent theories highlight a potential role for alexithymia (impaired ability to identify and describe one's own emotions), and interoception (the perception of the body's internal state). The present study therefore aimed to examine factors mediating age-related changes in emotion recognition ability in a group of 140 20-90 year olds, and, using an identity recognition control task, to determine whether these mediating factors are specific to emotion recognition or contribute to generalised difficulties with face processing. Results revealed that age-related changes in emotion recognition ability were accounted for by changes in processing speed and fluid intelligence, with some contribution of depressive traits, and that this was specific to emotion recognition; none of the examined factors contributed towards changes in identity recognition. Contrary to predictions, interoception and alexithymia did not contribute towards age-related changes in emotion recognition.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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