The "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" test as a new way to explore complex emotions decoding in alcohol dependence


It has been repeatedly shown that alcohol dependence is associated with emotional impairments, particularly for emotional facial expression decoding. Nevertheless, most earlier studies focused on basic emotions and did not explore more subtle affective states. In order to obtain a more accurate evaluation, and in view of earlier results showing impaired performance for this task among high-risk children of alcohol-dependent participants, the "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" test was used here to explore emotional recognition in alcohol dependence. We showed that the deficit described earlier for basic negative emotions is (1) generalizable to complex and positive emotions; and (2) specific for emotional features. This strengthens the proposition of a general face recognition impairment in alcohol dependence.

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