Below and beyond the recognition of emotional facial expressions in alcohol dependence: from basic perception to social cognition
Fabien D’Hondt,1 Salvatore Campanella,2 Charles Kornreich,2 Pierre Philippot,1 Pierre Maurage1
1Laboratory for Experimental Psychopathology, Psychological Sciences Research Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; 2Laboratory of Medical Psychology and Addictology, ULB Neuroscience Institute (UNI), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Abstract: Studies that have carried out experimental evaluation of emotional skills in alcohol-dependence have, up to now, been mainly focused on the exploration of emotional facial expressions (EFE) decoding. In the present paper, we provide some complements to the recent systematic literature review published by Donadon and de Lima Osório on this crucial topic. We also suggest research avenues that must be, in our opinion, considered in the coming years. More precisely, we propose, first, that a battery integrating a set of emotional tasks relating to different processes should be developed to better systemize EFE decoding measures in alcohol-dependence. Second, we propose to go below EFE recognition deficits and to seek for the roots of those alterations, particularly by investigating the putative role played by early visual processing and vision–emotion interactions in the emotional impairment observed in alcohol-dependence. Third, we insist on the need to go beyond EFE recognition deficits by suggesting that they only constitute a part of wider emotional deficits in alcohol-dependence. Importantly, since the efficient decoding of emotions is a crucial ability for the development and maintenance of satisfactory interpersonal relationships, we suggest that disruption of this ability in alcohol-dependent individuals may have adverse consequences for their social integration. One way to achieve this research agenda would be to develop the field of affective and social neuroscience of alcohol-dependence, which could ultimately lead to major advances at both theoretical and therapeutic levels.
Keywords: alcohol-dependence, emotion, social cognition, vision
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]