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Emotional Recognition from Face, Voice, and Music in Dementia of the Alzheimer Type

Implications for Music Therapy


Address for correspondence: Joanie Drapeau, Research Centre on Ageing, 1036 Belvédère Sud, Sherbrooke, Québec, J1H 4C4, Canada. Voice: (819) 821-1170 (45287); fax: (819) 829-7141.


Persons with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) are impaired in recognizing emotions from face and voice. Yet clinical practitioners use these mediums to communicate with DAT patients. Music is also used in clinical practice, but little is known about emotional processing from music in DAT. This study aims to assess emotional recognition in mild DAT. Seven patients with DAT and 16 healthy elderly adults were given three tasks of emotional recognition for face, prosody, and music. DAT participants were only impaired in the emotional recognition from the face. These preliminary results suggest that dynamic auditory emotions are preserved in DAT.