Aging and the perception of emotion: processing vocal expressions alone and with faces

Melissa Ryan, Janice Murray, Ted Ruffman
Experimental Aging Research 2010, 36 (1): 1-22
This study investigated whether the difficulties older adults experience when recognizing specific emotions from facial expressions also occur with vocal expressions of emotion presented in isolation or in combination with facial expressions. When matching vocal expressions of six emotions to emotion labels, older adults showed worse performance on sadness and anger. When matching vocal expressions to facial expressions, older adults showed worse performance on sadness, anger, happiness, and fear. Older adults' poorer performance when matching faces to voices was independent of declines in fluid ability. Results are interpreted with reference to the neuropsychology of emotion recognition and the aging brain.

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