Background: While dysfunction in emotion recognition is sometimes apparent with aging, and is frequently evident in Alzheimer’s disease, it is unclear whether individuals who have a high risk of developing dementia exhibit demonstrable changes. Method: A review of the literature pertaining to mild cognitive impairment was undertaken to discern the extent to which emotion recognition deficits are evident in this prodromal period. Results: A search of Medline, Psycinfo and Psyextra databases using specific key words identified only six relevant studies. These studies suggest that the ability to accurately identify facial expressions of affect is compromised. Conclusions: Research in this area is in its infancy. Suggestions are made for furthering our knowledge about this important ability which affects interpersonal relationships, daily functioning, mental well-being and quality of life.