An ERP study of vocal emotion processing in asymmetric Parkinson's disease

Patricia Garrido-Vásquez, Marc D. Pell, Silke Paulmann, Karl Strecker, Johannes Schwarz, Sonja A. Kotz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Parkinson's disease (PD) has been related to impaired processing of emotional speech intonation (emotional prosody). One distinctive feature of idiopathic PD is motor symptom asymmetry, with striatal dysfunction being strongest in the hemisphere contralateral to the most affected body side. It is still unclear whether this asymmetry may affect vocal emotion perception. Here, we tested 22 PD patients (10 with predominantly left-sided [LPD] and 12 with predominantly right-sided motor symptoms) and 22 healthy controls in an event-related potential study. Sentences conveying different emotional intonations were presented in lexical and pseudo-speech versions. Task varied between an explicit and an implicit instruction. Of specific interest was emotional salience detection from prosody, reflected in the P200 component. We predicted that patients with predominantly right-striatal dysfunction (LPD) would exhibit P200 alterations. Our results support this assumption. LPD patients showed enhanced P200 amplitudes, and specific deficits were observed for disgust prosody, explicit anger processing and implicit processing of happy prosody. Lexical speech was predominantly affected while the processing of pseudo-speech was largely intact. P200 amplitude in patients correlated significantly with left motor scores and asymmetry indices. The data suggest that emotional salience detection from prosody is affected by asymmetric neuronal degeneration in PD. © The Author (2012). Published by Oxford University Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbernss094
    Pages (from-to)918-927
    Number of pages9
    JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


    • Asymmetry
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Striatum, event-related potentials
    • Vocal emotion perception


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