Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 20;9(3):e90092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090092. eCollection 2014.

Effect of dopamine therapy on nonverbal affect burst recognition in Parkinson's disease.

Author information

  • 1Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; 'Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics' laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 2'Behavior and Basal Ganglia' research unit (Host Team 4712), University of Rennes 1 and Pontchaillou Hospital, Rennes University Hospital, Rennes, France; Neurology Unit, Pontchaillou Hospital, Rennes University Hospital, Rennes, France.



Parkinson's disease (PD) provides a model for investigating the involvement of the basal ganglia and mesolimbic dopaminergic system in the recognition of emotions from voices (i.e., emotional prosody). Although previous studies of emotional prosody recognition in PD have reported evidence of impairment, none of them compared PD patients at different stages of the disease, or ON and OFF dopamine replacement therapy, making it difficult to determine whether their impairment was due to general cognitive deterioration or to a more specific dopaminergic deficit.


We explored the involvement of the dopaminergic pathways in the recognition of nonverbal affect bursts (onomatopoeias) in 15 newly diagnosed PD patients in the early stages of the disease, 15 PD patients in the advanced stages of the disease and 15 healthy controls. The early PD group was studied in two conditions: ON and OFF dopaminergic therapy.


Results showed that the early PD patients performed more poorly in the ON condition than in the OFF one, for overall emotion recognition, as well as for the recognition of anger, disgust and fear. Additionally, for anger, the early PD ON patients performed more poorly than controls. For overall emotion recognition, both advanced PD patients and early PD ON patients performed more poorly than controls. Analysis of continuous ratings on target and nontarget visual analog scales confirmed these patterns of results, showing a systematic emotional bias in both the advanced PD and early PD ON (but not OFF) patients compared with controls.


These results i) confirm the involvement of the dopaminergic pathways and basal ganglia in emotional prosody recognition, and ii) suggest a possibly deleterious effect of dopatherapy on affective abilities in the early stages of PD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk