Impairment of recognition of disgust in Chinese with Huntington's or Wilson's disease

Kai Wang, Rumjahn Hoosain, Ren-Min Yang, Yu Meng, Chang-Qing Wang
Neuropsychologia 2003, 41 (5): 527-37
The selective involvement of the basal ganglia in recognition of the facial expression of disgust was investigated by examining a group of six symptomatic Huntington's disease patients and 32 Wilson's disease patients in China. Morphed photographs of facial expressions covering happiness-surprise-fear-sadness-disgust-anger were used and the patients were asked to label each photo. Other measures assessed basic cognitive functions and perception of non-emotion facial information, such as perception of gender, age, gaze direction, and recognition of unfamiliar as well as famous people. There was dissociation between the perception of emotions and other facial information, and between impairment of recognition of disgust and other emotions. The basal ganglia are the overlapping substrate involved in both Huntington's and Wilson's disease, although each has its own other lesions. The differentially severe impairment of recognition of disgust in the Chinese Huntington's disease and Wilson's disease patients strengthens the view that basal ganglia are selectively involved in processing the emotion of disgust.

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