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Altered emotional prosody processing in patients with Parkinson’s disease after subthalamic nucleus stimulation

Authors Jin Y, Mao Z, Ling Z, Xu X, Xie G, Yu X

Received 8 October 2017

Accepted for publication 30 October 2017

Published 11 December 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 2965—2975


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Yazhou Jin,* Zhiqi Mao,* Zhipei Ling, Xin Xu, Guang Xie, Xinguang Yu

Department of Neurosurgery, People’s Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) exhibit deficits in recognizing and expressing vocal emotional prosody. The aim of this study was to explore emotional prosody processing in patients with PD shortly after subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS).
Methods: Two groups of patients with PD (pre-DBS and post-DBS) and one healthy control (HC) group were recruited as participants. All participants (PD and HC) were assessed using the Montreal Affective Voices database 50 Voices Recognition test. All participants were asked to nonverbally express five basic emotions (happiness, anger, fear, sadness, and neutral) to test emotional prosody expression. Fifteen native Chinese speakers were recruited as raters. We recorded the accuracy rate, reaction time, confidence level, and two acoustic parameters (mean pitch and mean intensity).
Results: The PD groups scored lower than the HC group in recognizing and expressing emotional prosody. STN DBS had no significant effect on the recognition of emotional prosody but had a significant effect on fear prosody expression. Pearson’s correlation analysis revealed significant correlations between performance on emotional prosody recognition tests and performance on emotional prosody expression tests in both the pre-DBS PD and post-DBS PD groups.
Conclusion: Shortly after STN DBS, the ability to recognize emotional prosody was not altered, but fear expression was impaired. We identified associations between abnormalities in emotional prosody recognition and expression deficits both before and after STN DBS, indicating that the processes involved in recognizing and expressing emotional prosody may share a common system.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, emotional prosody, subthalamic nucleus stimulation, emotional recognition, emotional expression

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