Emotional Prosody Perception and Production in Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type PurposeIn this study, the authors investigated emotional prosody in patients with moderate Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (DAT) With Late Onset. It was expected that both expression and reception of prosody would be impaired relative to age-matched controls.MethodTwenty DAT and 20 control participants engaged in 2 expressive and 2 receptive ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2010
Emotional Prosody Perception and Production in Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kaye Horley
    MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Amanda Reid
    MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Denis Burnham
    MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Contact author: Denis Burnham, MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC NSW 1797, Australia. E-mail: d.burnham@uws.edu.au.
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   October 01, 2010
Emotional Prosody Perception and Production in Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1132-1146. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0030)
History: Received February 12, 2009 , Revised June 30, 2009 , Accepted January 7, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1132-1146. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0030)
History: Received February 12, 2009; Revised June 30, 2009; Accepted January 7, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

PurposeIn this study, the authors investigated emotional prosody in patients with moderate Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type (DAT) With Late Onset. It was expected that both expression and reception of prosody would be impaired relative to age-matched controls.

MethodTwenty DAT and 20 control participants engaged in 2 expressive and 2 receptive tasks with randomly presented exemplars of sentences targeting the emotions of happiness, anger, sadness, and surprise.

ResultsIn the expressive tasks, objective acoustic measurements revealed significantly less pitch modulation by the patient group, but these measurements showed that they retained the ability to vary pitch level, pitch modulation, and speaking rate as a function of emotion. In the receptive tasks, perception of emotion by the patient group was significantly inferior to the control group.

ConclusionsImplications are discussed regarding impaired emotional prosody in DAT, and the utility of objective acoustic measures in revealing subtle deficits and overcoming methodological inconsistencies is emphasized. Further research is critical in advancing our understanding of this pervasive disorder and is important, clinically, in the provision of specific interventions.

Acknowledgments
We thank Ian Cameron, director of the Rehabilitation and Aged Care Service, for access to patients at the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and Ryde Hospital Alzheimer’s Disease Community Centre; Mary Kelly, who assisted at the Centre; the elderly participants and controls who participated in the research; and Elizabeth Francis-Beach and Nicole Lees, who assisted in production of data analysis protocols and preparation of the article.
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