Impaired recognition of body expressions in the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia

Jan Van den Stock*, Francois-Laurent De Winter, Beatrice de Gelder, Janaki Raman Rangarajan, Gert Cypers, Frederik Maes, Stefan Sunaert, Karolien Goffin, Rik Vandenberghe, Mathieu Vandenbulcke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Web of Science)


Progressive deterioration of social cognition and emotion processing are core symptoms of the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). Here we investigate whether bvFTD is also associated with impaired recognition of static (Experiment 1) and dynamic (Experiment 2) bodily expressions. In addition, we compared body expression processing with processing of static (Experiment 3) and dynamic (Experiment 4) facial expressions, as well as with face identity processing (Experiment 5). The results reveal that bvFTD is associated with impaired recognition of static and dynamic bodily and facial expressions, while identity processing was intact. No differential impairments were observed regarding motion (static vs. dynamic) or category (body vs. face). Within the bvFTD group, we observed a significant partial correlation between body and face expression recognition, when controlling for performance on the identity task. Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) analysis revealed that body emotion recognition was positively associated with gray matter volume in a region of the inferior frontal gyrus (pars orbitalis/triangularis). The results are in line with a supramodal emotion recognition deficit in bvFTD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-504
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia
  • Emotion
  • Body
  • Inferior frontal gyms
  • Supramodal emotion recognition

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