loading page

ScholarOne - Music modulates attentional biases and attention to discriminating facial features in Alzheimers disease.
  • +1
  • Anne-Marie Greenaway,
  • Faustina Hwang,
  • Slawomir Nasuto,
  • Aileen Ho
Anne-Marie Greenaway
University of Reading

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Faustina Hwang
Author Profile
Slawomir Nasuto
Author Profile


Reduced attention on a facial region with discriminating features (RwDF), as displayed by some older adults with/without dementia, is associated with impaired social interaction and depression. Musical interventions are commonly used in dementia-care to facilitate social interaction and reduce depression. While the stimuli that individuals dwell on (attentional bias (AB)) and RwDF dwell-time can change after music exposure/interventions, research exploring music’s effect on older-adults’ AB and RwDF dwell-time is lacking. Participants in the current study completed online self-report mood measures, a cognitive status interview, and AB measurements via home-based webcam eye-tracking in silence and then with background music. For each trial, participants fixated on a cross, naturally viewed pairs of facial images conveying sad, angry, happy, and neutral emotions, and then fixated on a dot. We compared the proportion of dwell-time on emotional faces, and the top-half RwDF (containing the eyes) versus the bottom-half RwDF (containing the mouth) (important in angry and happy face recognition, respectively) of these images. Results showed that cognitively impaired and cognitively healthy participants dwelled more on sad faces, less on angry faces, but differed in their dwell-time on happy faces during the background music condition compared to the silence condition. Our data suggests that AB change could be associated with rumination level and silent-condition AB direction for sad and angry faces, respectively. Group top-half and bottom-half RwDF dwell-times were generally modulated in opposing directions. Future larger studies are warranted to replicate our findings and to examine their effects on social interactions, rumination levels, and mood.
17 Oct 2023Submitted to Advance
22 Mar 2024Published in Advance