Facial expression and face orientation processing in schizophrenia.

Doop ML, Park S
Psychiatry Res. 2009 170 (2-3): 103-7

PMID: 19896209 · DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2009.06.009

Schizophrenia patients exhibit deficits in recognition and identification of facial emotional expressions, but it is unclear whether these deficits result from abnormal affective processing or an impaired ability to process complex visual stimuli such as faces. Participants comprised 16 outpatients with schizophrenia and 22 matched healthy control subjects who performed two computerized visual matching tasks (facial emotional expression and orientation). Accuracy and reaction time were recorded. Clinical symptoms were assessed in the patients using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), and Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS). Social functioning as measured by the Zigler social competence scale was indexed in all participants. Patients with schizophrenia were less accurate than control participants on both facial emotion and orientation matching tasks, but there was no diagnosis-by-task interaction. Clinical symptoms of the patients were associated with deficits on emotion and orientation matching tasks. Worse social functioning was correlated with facial emotion matching errors across both groups. Patients with schizophrenia show general deficits in processing of faces, which is in turn associated with worse symptoms and reduced social functioning.

MeSH Terms (18)

Adult Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale Case-Control Studies Face Facial Expression Female Humans Male Middle Aged Neuropsychological Tests Orientation Pattern Recognition, Visual Personality Assessment Photic Stimulation Reaction Time Schizophrenia Schizophrenic Psychology Young Adult

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