ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0521.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: emotional processing; disgust; cocaine dependence; alcohol dependence; face; body
Online: 31 December 2021 (12:58:19 CET)
Background: Different drugs damage the frontal cortices, particularly the prefrontal areas involved in both emotional and cognitive functions, with a consequence of decoding emotion deficits for people with substance abuse. The present study aims to explore the cognitive impairments in drug abusers through facial, body and disgust emotion recognition, expanding the investigation of emotions, processing, measuring accuracy and response velocity. Method: We enrolled 13 addicted to cocaine and 12 alcohol patients attending treatment services in Italy, comparing them with 33 matched controls. Facial emotion and body posture recognition tasks, a disgust rating task, and the Barrat Impulsivity Scale were included in the experimental assessment. Results: We found that emotional processes are differently influenced by cocaine and alcohol, suggesting that these substances impact diverse cerebral systems. Conclusion: The contribution made by the duration of consumption on emotional processing seems far less important than for cognitive processes. Drug abusers seem to be slower on elaboration of emotions and, in particular, of disgust emotion. Considering that the participants were not impaired in cognition, our data support the hypothesis that emotional impairments emerge independently from damage to cognitive functions.