Impaired recognition of affect in facial expression in depressed patients

Biol Psychiatry. 1992 May 1;31(9):947-53. doi: 10.1016/0006-3223(92)90120-o.


Measures of recognition of seven affects in facial and verbal expressions to 17 depressed patients and 31 controls were administered. Depressed patients were significantly impaired in the recognition of affect in the facial, but not verbal, expressions. Among the seven affects examined, depressed patients made significantly or near significantly fewer correct matches for sad, happy, and interested face items. The performance of the depressed patients was similar to that observed by Kolb and Taylor in patients with right, but not left, hemisphere cortical excisions. The neurobiology of facial recognition is reviewed, and the relevance of the observed perceptual deficit in depressed patients to the pathophysiology and symptomatology of depression is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Verbal Behavior