Nonverbal interpersonal sensitivity and persistence of depression: Perception of emotions in schematic faces

Antoinette L. Bouhuys*, Erwin Geerts, Peter Paul A. Mersch, Jack A. Jenner

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Deficits ill the decoding of facial emotional expressions may play a role in the persistence of depression. In a prospective longitudinal study, 33 depressed outpatients (30 major depression, 2 dysthymia, and 1 cyclothymic disorder) judged schematic faces with respect to the emotions they expressed (fear, happiness, anger, sadness, disgust, surprise, rejection, and invitation) at admission (T-0) and again 6 and 30 weeks later. Severity of depression (BDI) was assessed at these three times. Those patients who perceived less sadness, rejection, or anger in faces at T-0 were less likely to show a favorable course of depression after 6 weeks (sadness, anger) or after 30 weeks (sadness, rejection, anger). These relationships could not be ascribed to initial levels of depression, age, or gender. The perception of sadness and rejection did not change over time, and therefore may have trait-like qualities. Depression appears to be more persistent in the subgroup that is hyposensitive to (negative) facial signals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-203
    Number of pages11
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Volume64
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16-Oct-1996

    Keywords

    • affective disorder
    • outcome
    • facial expression
    • SEASONAL AFFECTIVE-DISORDER
    • FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
    • OBSERVED BEHAVIOR
    • RECOGNITION
    • STIMULI
    • DISCRIMINATION
    • SCHIZOPHRENIA
    • PERSONALITY
    • PREDICT
    • LIGHT

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