Impaired recognition of nonverbal expressions of emotions in depressed individuals

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Introduction: Depressive individuals are impaired in the recognition of emotions in others’. Recent research suggests that the recognition of nonverbal expressions of emotions in other people may depend on the analysis of bodily rather than facial expressions. Therefore, we investigated if an impaired recognition of emotions by depressed individuals is body part specific. Methods: Clinically diagnosed depressed and healthy matched controls were instructed to identify nonverbal expressions of positive (happiness), neutral, and negative emotions (sadness) via the face, the body, or the body and face. Results: Depressed participants responded significantly less correctly overall when compared to non-depressed individuals. The recognition of nonverbal expressions of happiness by the body negatively predicted the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) score. Discussion: The data revealed that the impaired recognition of nonverbal expressions of emotions in others by depressed individuals is not body part specific. Nevertheless, depressive symptoms seem to be related to the recognition of bodily expressions of happiness. Future studies must address whether impairments of depressive individuals are related to nonverbal expressions of the whole body.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114031
JournalPsychiatry Research
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 08.2021

ID: 6289872

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