Investigating the relative severity of emotion recognition deficit across different clinical and high-risk populations has potential implications not only for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases, but also for our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of emotion perception itself. We reanalyzed data from 4 studies in which we examined facial expression and gender recognition using the same tasks and stimuli. We used a standardized and bias-corrected measure of effect size (Cohen’s D) to assess the extent of impairments in (...) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Parkinson’s disease treated by L-DOPA (PD-ON) or not (PD-OFF), amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI), Alzheimer’s disease at mild dementia stage (AD), major depressive disorder (MDD), remitted schizophrenia (SCZ-rem), first-episode schizophrenia before (SCZ-OFF) and after (SCZ-ON) medication, as well as unaffected siblings of partients with schizophrenia (SIB). Analyses revealed a pattern of differential impairment of emotion (but not gender) recognition, consistent with the extent of impairment of the fronto-temporal neural networks involved in the processing of faces and facial expressions. Our transnosographic approach combining clinical and high-risk populations with the impact of medication brings new information on the trajectory of impaired emotion perception in neuropsychiatric conditions, and on the neural networks and neurotransmitter systems subserving emotion perception. (shrink)
Next SectionThere has been considerable debate surrounding the ethics of sham-controlled trials of procedures and interventions. Critics argue that these trials are unethical because participants assigned to the control group have no prospect of benefit from the trial, yet they are exposed to all the risks of the sham intervention. However, the placebo effect associated with sham procedures can often be substantial and has been well documented in the scientific literature. We argue that, in light of the scientific evidence supporting (...) the benefits of sham interventions for pain and Parkinson's disease that stem from the placebo effect, these sham-controlled trials should be considered as offering potential direct benefit to participants. If scientific evidence demonstrates the positive effect of placebo from sham interventions on other conditions, sham-controlled trials of interventions for the treatment of these conditions should be considered to have prospects of benefit as well. This potential benefit should be taken into account by research ethics committees in risk-benefit analyses, and be included in informed consent documents. (shrink)
While explaining a large proportion of any variance, accounts of the speed and accuracy of targetting movements use techniques (e.g., log transforms) that typically reduce variability before ''explaining'' the data. Therefore the predictive power of such accounts are important. We consider whether Plamondon's model can account for kinematics of targetting movements of clinical populations.