14 Nov 2014

Let's face it: facial emotion processing is impaired in bipolar disorder.

Two researchers from MAPrc have published a study which looks at facial emotion processing in patients with bipolar disorder.

According to the study, patients with bipolar disorder have difficulty in recognizing and discriminating facial emotions.

 However, beyond this broad finding, existing literature is equivocal about the specific nature of impairments, and progress toward adequately profiling facial emotion processing in bipolar disorder is hampered by methodological inconsistencies.

The paper highlights that perception of emotion from facial information is vital for effective social and relational functioning. Misinterpretation of emotional expressions can lead to uncomfortable social situations and reduce appropriate social communication.

It found that there is a generalized patient impairment in the ability to label facial expressions and to make use of available emotional facial cues to differentiate them. They note that their findings suggest that facial emotion processing is considerably more challenging for people with the disorder than for those without. This may have direct impact on the significant psychosocial burden carried by patients, although this remains to be seen.

Click here to read the full study.

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