Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Tara Lineweaver


Successful emotion recognition is necessary for healthy relationships. Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be associated with deficits in emotion recognition through both auditory and visual modalities. Because past research has also documented that gender plays a role in emotion recognition, PD could differentially affect men and women. This study examined the abilities of men and women with PD to recognize specific emotions through emotional facial expressions and emotional prosody compared to healthy controls. This study included 28 PD patients (14 men, 14 women) and 40 (20 men, 20 women) age-matched healthy control participants. The PD group displayed deficits on both the emotional facial expression recognition task and the emotional prosody recognition task. In addition, women outperformed men on both tasks. Diagnosis interacted with gender to affect prosody recognition, and to a lesser extent facial expression recognition. Specifically, men with PD showed much stronger impairments in their ability to recognize angry, fearful, and surprised tones of voice than women with PD and struggled to recognize disgusted facial expressions. These results may be used to create specialized interventions for PD patients to help them maintain healthy, social interactions.