Approche neuropsychologique de la reconnaissance d'émotions dans la démence de type Alzheimer (DTA) en début d'évolution
Persons with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) are impaired in the emotion recognition from face and voice. Yet, clinical practices encourage the use of facial expressions and prosody to communicate with DAT persons. In addition, music, via music therapy, is also used in clinical practices. However, little is known about emotional processing of music in DAT. The goal of the present study is to assess emotion recognition from face, voice and music, in mild DAT and in normal ageing. Method: Ten participants with mild DAT and eleven healthy elderly controls were administered four tasks of emotion recognition from face, voice (prosody) and music. Results: Recognition of sadness and anger from face was impaired for DAT participants as compared to healthy elderly controls, whereas emotional recognition from music was preserved in both groups. Emotional recognition from voice remains however still ambiguous because of methodological limitations which we will try to explain. Conclusions: These results suggest that emotional recognition from music is preserved in mild DAT, which supports the use of the music therapy in clinical practices.