Deficient recognition of emotional prosody in primary focal dystonia

Z. T. Nikolova, A. Fellbrich, J. Born, R. Dengler, C. Schröder*

*Corresponding author for this work
13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Primary dystonia is a movement disorder attributed mainly to basal ganglia dysfunction. Besides motor control, striatopallidal structures are known to implement also non-motor functions including processing of cognitive and emotional information. Previous research has already demonstrated deficient recognition of emotional faces in patients with primary focal dystonia. However, it remains elusive if emotional prosody processing in dystonia is also affected.Methods: In this study, 30 patients with primary cervical dystonia (CD) and 30 healthy control subjects (HC) had to classify auditory presented words according to their emotional prosody (angry, happy, relaxed, sad).Results: Analysis of hit rates and reaction times revealed a significantly poorer performance of patients with CD in judging angrily intonated words. Additional psychological assessment (SCL-90 R) demonstrated a higher level of psychological distress in patients with CD who displayed symptoms of somatization, anxiety and depression.Conclusions: Together these findings bring further insight into the basal ganglia involvement in processing of emotional prosody and emphasize the importance to identify the psychopathological symptoms in patients with CD as complementary to the motor deficit.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2011

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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