Auditory and Visual Integration for Emotion Recognition and Compensation for Degraded Signals are Preserved With Age

Minke J de Boer*, Tim Jürgens, Deniz Başkent, Frans W Cornelissen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Since emotion recognition involves integration of the visual and auditory signals, it is likely that sensory impairments worsen emotion recognition. In emotion recognition, young adults can compensate for unimodal sensory degradations if the other modality is intact. However, most sensory impairments occur in the elderly population and it is unknown whether older adults are similarly capable of compensating for signal degradations. As a step towards studying potential effects of real sensory impairments, this study examined how degraded signals affect emotion recognition in older adults with normal hearing and vision. The degradations were designed to approximate some aspects of sensory impairments. Besides emotion recognition accuracy, we recorded eye movements to capture perceptual strategies for emotion recognition. Overall, older adults were as good as younger adults at integrating auditory and visual information and at compensating for degraded signals. However, accuracy was lower overall for older adults, indicating that aging leads to a general decrease in emotion recognition. In addition to decreased accuracy, older adults showed smaller adaptations of perceptual strategies in response to video degradations. Concluding, this study showed that emotion recognition declines with age, but that integration and compensation abilities are retained. In addition, we speculate that the reduced ability of older adults to adapt their perceptual strategies may be related to the increased time it takes them to direct their attention to scene aspects that are relatively far away from fixation.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's20
TijdschriftTrends in hearing
StatusPublished - 1-jan.-2021

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