Neuroticism and facial emotion recognition in healthy adults

Sanja Andric, Nadja P. Maric, Goran Knezevic, Marina Mihaljevic, Tijana Mirjanic, Eva Velthorst, Jim van Os

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Aim: The aim of the present study was to examine whether healthy individuals with higher levels of neuroticism, a robust independent predictor of psychopathology, exhibit altered facial emotion recognition performance. Methods: Facial emotion recognition accuracy was investigated in 104 healthy adults using the Degraded Facial Affect Recognition Task (DFAR). Participants' degree of neuroticism was estimated using neuroticism scales extracted from the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. Results: A significant negative correlation between the degree of neuroticism and the percentage of correct answers on DFAR was found only for happy facial expression (significant after applying Bonferroni correction). Conclusions: Altered sensitivity to the emotional context represents a useful and easy way to obtain cognitive phenotype that correlates strongly with inter-individual variations in neuroticism linked to stress vulnerability and subsequent psychopathology. Present findings could have implication in early intervention strategies and staging models in psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-164
Number of pages5
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Facial emotion recognition
  • Healthy adult
  • Neuroticism


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