Voluntary and spontaneous facial mimicry toward other's emotional expression in patients with Parkinson's disease.

08:00 EDT 11th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Voluntary and spontaneous facial mimicry toward other's emotional expression in patients with Parkinson's disease."

A "masked face", that is, decreased facial expression is considered as one of the cardinal symptoms among individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Both spontaneous and voluntary mimicry toward others' emotional expressions is essential for both social communication and emotional sharing with others. Despite many studies showing impairments in facial movements in PD in general, it is still unclear whether voluntary, spontaneous, or both types of mimicry are affected and how the impairments affect the patients' quality of life. We investigated to verify whether impairments in facial movements happen for spontaneous as well as for voluntary expressions by quantitatively comparing muscle activations using surface electromyography. Dynamic facial expressions of Neutral, Anger, Joy, and Sad were presented during recordings in corrugator and zygomatic areas. In the spontaneous condition, participants were instructed to simply watch clips, whereas in the voluntary condition they were instructed to actively mimic the stimuli. We found that PD patients showed decreased mimicry in both spontaneous and voluntary conditions compared to a matched control group, although movement patterns in each emotion were similar in the two groups. Moreover, whereas the decrease in mimicry correlated with the decrease not in a health-related quality of life index (PDQ), it did so in a more subjective measurement of general quality of life index (SWB). The correlation between facial mimicry and subjective well-being index suggests that the 'masked face' symptom deteriorates patients' quality of life in a complex way affecting social and psychological aspects, which in turn may be linked to the increased depression risk among individuals with PD.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0214957


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Observable changes of expression in the face in response to emotional stimuli.

The process in which structural properties of an introduced molecule imitate or simulate molecules of the host. Direct mimicry of a molecule enables a viral protein to bind directly to a normal substrate as a substitute for the homologous normal ligand. Immunologic molecular mimicry generally refers to what can be described as antigenic mimicry and is defined by the properties of ANTIBODIES raised against various facets of EPITOPES on the viral protein. (From Immunology Letters 1991 May;28(2):91-9)

Muscles of facial expression or mimetic muscles that include the numerous muscles supplied by the facial nerve that are attached to and move the skin of the face. (From Stedman, 25th ed)

The 7th cranial nerve. The facial nerve has two parts, the larger motor root which may be called the facial nerve proper, and the smaller intermediate or sensory root. Together they provide efferent innervation to the muscles of facial expression and to the lacrimal and salivary glands, and convey afferent information for taste from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and for touch from the external ear.

A syndrome characterized by DYSARTHRIA, dysphagia, dysphonia, impairment of voluntary movements of tongue and facial muscles, and emotional lability. This condition is caused by diseases that affect the motor fibers that travel from the cerebral cortex to the lower BRAIN STEM (i.e., corticobulbar tracts); including MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS; MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; and CEREBROVASCULAR DISORDERS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p489)

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