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The combined effect of sleep and time of day on emotion decoding from dynamic visual cues in older adults

Authors Tsokanaki P, Moraitou D, Papantoniou G

Received 6 April 2016

Accepted for publication 4 July 2016

Published 1 September 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2283—2291

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S109959

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Paraskevi Tsokanaki,1 Despina Moraitou,1 Georgia Papantoniou2

1Section of Cognitive and Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 2Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Abstract: It is well known that night sleep is a decisive factor for the effective functioning of the human body and mind. In addition to the role of sleep, older adults report that they are “morning types” and that their cognitive and emotional abilities seem to be at a higher level in the morning hours. In this vein, this study is aimed at examining the effect of sleep combined with the “time of day” condition on a specific ability that is crucial for interpersonal communication, namely, emotion recognition, in older adults. Specifically, the study compared older adults’ performance in decoding emotions from ecologically valid, dynamic visual cues, in two conditions: “early in the morning and after night sleep”, and “in the afternoon and after many hours since night sleep”. An emotion recognition task was administered twice to 37 community-dwelling older adults. The results showed a statistically significant higher performance in the morning in decoding all emotions presented, compared to the afternoon condition. Pleasant surprise, sadness, and anxiety were revealed as the most difficult emotions to be recognized in the afternoon condition.

Keywords: aging, cognition, emotion recognition

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