Choral singing and emotional communication in people with Parkinson’s disease
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 07:48 authored by Esztella Vezer
A large part of successful interpersonal communication relies on both the production and interpretation of vocal and facial expressions. Both of these abilities appear to be impaired in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease affecting the muscles of the body. Based on positive effects of rhythmic auditory stimulation on overall motor functioning and the effects of intentional simulation of expression on facial mimicry, the present study investigated the impact of a choir program involving singing of happy and sad songs on a group of 12 PD patients. Participants were tested before and after program completion on measures of: (1) facial mimicry of a range of emotional expressions; (2) emotion perception, and; (3) vocal quality. It was found that choir participation improved some measures of vocal quality, while effects on facial mimicry and emotion perception were marginal.