The Ekman 60 Faces Test as a diagnostic instrument in frontotemporal dementia

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2007 May;22(4):459-64. doi: 10.1016/j.acn.2007.01.024. Epub 2007 Mar 13.


Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is characterized by dramatic changes of personality and behaviour. Impaired ability of emotional processing could contribute to these symptoms, as it may lead to misinterpretation of emotional cues that would normally guide behaviour. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the Ekman 60 Faces Test, an instrument to test the recognition of basic facial emotions, enables the differentiation between patients with mild FTD and cognitively healthy subjects (HC). We found that compared to 33 cognitively healthy subjects, 25 patients with mild FTD were impaired in the recognition of basic emotions. At a cut-off score from 46 out of 60 points, the Ekman 60 Faces Test discriminated between patients with mild FTD and HC with 97% diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity: 94%; specificity: 100%). The results of the present study were consistent with the findings of prior studies on smaller patient samples.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Emotions*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Recognition, Psychology*