Disrupted Face Processing in Frontotemporal Dementia: A Review of the Clinical and Neuroanatomical Evidence
- 1k Downloads
Faces play an integral role in day-to-day functioning, particularly for social interactions where dynamic and rapid processing of information is vital. Analysis of faces allows an individual to ascertain a wide range of information including deciphering mood and identity, with these assessments directing an individual’s subsequent response and behaviours. The prominent social and emotional deficits observed in frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a younger-onset dementia syndrome, may in part reflect a breakdown of the face processing network. Different subtypes of FTD present with divergent patterns of atrophy, although damage is predominantly confined to the frontal and temporal lobes. Specific predictions regarding the role of frontal and temporal regions in face processing have been proposed in the model outlined by Haxby et al. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4(6), 223–233 (2000). This model presents a parsimonious method by which to understand face processing in FTD while concurrently allowing assessment of the predictive value and applicability of such a model. By applying the Haxby model to the existing FTD literature, this review presents both direct and indirect evidence of a breakdown in key elements of the face processing network. The type and degree of breakdown appears to differ as a function of FTD subtype and associated brain atrophy. The evidence presented in this review and its relationship with predictions of the Haxby model provides impetus and direction for future research investigating face processing in FTD.
KeywordsBehavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia Semantic dementia Progressive nonfluent aphasia Emotion Identity Neuroimaging
Acknowledgements and Funding
This work was supported by funding to ForeFront, a collaborative research group dedicated to the study of frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease, from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) Research Project Grant (APP1037746) and the Australia Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Memory Node (CE11000102). R.H. is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award. O.P. is supported by an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (APP1103258) F.K. is supported by an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship (APP1097026).
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Hill, J., Raste, Y., & Plumb, I. (2001). The “reading the mind in the eyes” test revised version: a study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42(2), 241–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Benton, A. L. (1994). Contributions to neuropsychological assessment: A clinical manual. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Couto, B., Manes, F., Montañés, P., Matallana, D., & Reyes, P. (2013). Structural neuroimaging of social cognition in progressive non-fluent aphasia and behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7(467), 1–11.Google Scholar
- De Winter, F.-L., Timmers, D., de Gelder, B., Van Orshoven, M., Vieren, M., Bouckaert, M., et al. (2016b). Face shape and face identity processing in behavioral variant fronto-temporal dementia: a specific deficit for familiarity and name recognition of famous faces. NeuroImage: Clinical, 11, 368–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Irish, M., Kumfor, F., Hodges, J. R., & Piguet, O. (2013). A tale of two hemispheres: contrasting socioemotional dysfunction in right-versus left-lateralised semantic dementia; um conto sobre dois hemisférios: contrastando a disfunção socioemocional na demência semântica com atrofia lateralizada à direita versus esquerda. Dementia e Neuropsychologia, 7(1), 88–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kamminga, J., Kumfor, F., Burrell, J. R., Piguet, O., Hodges, J. R., & Irish, M. (2014). Differentiating between right-lateralised semantic dementia and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia: an examination of clinical characteristics and emotion processing. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 86, 1082–1088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Miller, L. A., Hsieh, S., Lah, S., Savage, S., Hodges, J. R., & Piguet, O. (2012). One size does not fit all: face emotion processing impairments in semantic dementia, behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are mediated by distinct cognitive deficits. Behavioural Neurology, 25(1), 53–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar