Facial emotion recognition in people with different patterns of alcohol consumption: an eye-tracking study

Cocran, Carmel, Townshend, Julia, Milani, Raffaella and Hunt, Frances (2016) Facial emotion recognition in people with different patterns of alcohol consumption: an eye-tracking study. In: BPS Cognitive Psychology Section Annual Conference, 31 Aug - 2 Sep 2016, Barcelona, Spain.

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Abstract

Impairment in emotion recognition for those with alcohol dependence has been shown to be exacerbated by the number of detoxifications experienced. Flooding of the brain with alcohol and then withdrawing is a similar process to that experienced by binge drinkers. It has already been shown that high binge drinkers display cognitive deficits compared with low binge drinking controls. It has not yet been shown whether they experience similar deficits with regard to facial emotion recognition (FER).
This study aimed to explore the relationship between drinking patterns and FER amongst those without alcohol dependence. Fifty six students completed the Alcohol Use Questionnaire (AUQ) to measure alcohol consumption and binge drinking patterns. Two groups, high binge drinkers (HBD) and low binge drinkers (LBD) were created using the median binge drinking score. The CANTAB Emotion Recognition Task (ERT) was used to measure the ability to accurately identify emotions and the Tobii Eye-tracker to explore how participants gathered information about faces for processing.
The study found no significant difference between high and low binge drinkers on ability to correctly identify emotions. However, the gaze patterns of those in the HBD group fixated on fearful faces quicker and disengaged quicker than the LBD. For angry faces the HBD fixated for a shorter time on the expression but came back to fixate on the image more frequently than the LBD.
This suggests hyper-vigilance and anxiety towards negative emotions particularly fear and anger. This supports previous research and might have implications for healthy social interactions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Facial Emotion Recognition, Eye Tracking
Subjects: Psychology > Substance abuse/misuse
Psychology
Depositing User: Raffaella Milani
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 17:46
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2017 09:19
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2966

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