On the mechanisms of semantic associative processing in the perception and interpretation of affective stimuli.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/185971
Title:
On the mechanisms of semantic associative processing in the perception and interpretation of affective stimuli.
Author:
Bortz, Jennifer Jean.
Issue Date:
1992
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The present study investigated the nature of affect processing deficits in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) through administration of a series of affect perception and interpretation tasks. Three tasks involved perceptual classification of emotional stimuli: (1) discrimination of face identity, (2) discrimination of genuine emotions from facial grimaces that did not conform to recognizable emotional expressions, and (3) discrimination of facial affect expressions. Tasks assessing (1) verbal identification of facial affect, (2) labeling of situational affect, and (3) matching facial affect photographs to emotions depicted in complex scenes, were used to investigate the integrity of more complex, semantic-associative processes in AD. Twenty adults with neurologic diagnoses of AD and 18 healthy control subjects participated in the study. The ability of AD patients to perform fundamental face processing tasks supported the hypothesis that basic perceptual classification functions may be spared in mild to moderate stages of AD. In contrast, AD patients were differentially impaired on associative affect tasks, suggesting breakdowns in processes relying upon the activation of higher-order, emotion-specific semantic representations. The integrity of a hierarchical model of face processing abilities was assessed by comparing the actual distribution of subjects' scores to three theoretical distributions. As predicted, the hierarchical model reflected the best 'goodness-of-fit' with both AD and control distributions. Evidence that AD patients were able to benefit from emotional cues on a task requiring subjects to match facial affect expressions to emotional scenes was interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that primary stores of affect knowledge are preserved in AD, but may be severely disorganized or inefficiently accessed. These findings were interpreted in terms of emotional semantics and their relationship to information processing models of facial affect recognition. Finally, no statistical relationship between affect processing variables and caregiver burden was found in the present study. The need for future studies to clarify the nature of semantic competency for affect processing in AD, and to provide a greater understanding of caregiver burden and its relationship to the emotional behavior of neurologically impaired adults, is discussed.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Psychology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Kaszniak, Alfred W.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleOn the mechanisms of semantic associative processing in the perception and interpretation of affective stimuli.en_US
dc.creatorBortz, Jennifer Jean.en_US
dc.contributor.authorBortz, Jennifer Jean.en_US
dc.date.issued1992en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe present study investigated the nature of affect processing deficits in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) through administration of a series of affect perception and interpretation tasks. Three tasks involved perceptual classification of emotional stimuli: (1) discrimination of face identity, (2) discrimination of genuine emotions from facial grimaces that did not conform to recognizable emotional expressions, and (3) discrimination of facial affect expressions. Tasks assessing (1) verbal identification of facial affect, (2) labeling of situational affect, and (3) matching facial affect photographs to emotions depicted in complex scenes, were used to investigate the integrity of more complex, semantic-associative processes in AD. Twenty adults with neurologic diagnoses of AD and 18 healthy control subjects participated in the study. The ability of AD patients to perform fundamental face processing tasks supported the hypothesis that basic perceptual classification functions may be spared in mild to moderate stages of AD. In contrast, AD patients were differentially impaired on associative affect tasks, suggesting breakdowns in processes relying upon the activation of higher-order, emotion-specific semantic representations. The integrity of a hierarchical model of face processing abilities was assessed by comparing the actual distribution of subjects' scores to three theoretical distributions. As predicted, the hierarchical model reflected the best 'goodness-of-fit' with both AD and control distributions. Evidence that AD patients were able to benefit from emotional cues on a task requiring subjects to match facial affect expressions to emotional scenes was interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that primary stores of affect knowledge are preserved in AD, but may be severely disorganized or inefficiently accessed. These findings were interpreted in terms of emotional semantics and their relationship to information processing models of facial affect recognition. Finally, no statistical relationship between affect processing variables and caregiver burden was found in the present study. The need for future studies to clarify the nature of semantic competency for affect processing in AD, and to provide a greater understanding of caregiver burden and its relationship to the emotional behavior of neurologically impaired adults, is discussed.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairKaszniak, Alfred W.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRapcsak, Stevenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBootzin, Richarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRubens, Alanen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKihlstrom, Johnen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9303313en_US
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