Facial and Prosodic Emotion Recognition Deficits Associate with Specific Clusters of Psychotic Symptoms in Schizophrenia

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Abstract

Background:Patients with schizophrenia perform significantly worse on emotion recognition tasks than healthy participants across several sensory modalities. Emotion recognition abilities are correlated with the severity of clinical symptoms, particularly negative symptoms. However, the relationships between specific deficits of emotion recognition across sensory modalities and the presentation of psychotic symptoms remain unclear. The current study aims to explore how emotion recognition ability across modalities and neurocognitive function correlate with clusters of psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia.Methods:111 participants who met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia and 70 healthy participants performed on a dual-modality emotion recognition task, the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy 2-Taiwan version (DANVA-2-TW), and selected subscales of WAIS-III. Of all, 92 patients received neurocognitive evaluations, including CPT and WCST. These patients also received the PANSS for clinical evaluation of symptomatology.Results:The emotion recognition ability of patients with schizophrenia was significantly worse than healthy participants in both facial and vocal modalities, particularly fearful emotion. An inverse correlation was noted between PANSS total score and recognition accuracy for happy emotion. The difficulty of happy emotion recognition and earlier age of onset, together with the perseveration error in WCST predicted total PANSS score. Furthermore, accuracy of happy emotion and the age of onset were the only two significant predictors of delusion/hallucination. All the associations with happy emotion recognition primarily concerned happy prosody.Discussion:Deficits in emotional processing in specific categories, i.e. in happy emotion, together with deficit in executive function, may reflect dysfunction of brain systems underlying severity of psychotic symptoms, in particular the positive dimension. © 2013 Tseng et al.

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Tseng, H. H., Chen, S. H., Liu, C. M., Howes, O., Huang, Y. L., Hsieh, M. H., … Hwu, H. G. (2013). Facial and Prosodic Emotion Recognition Deficits Associate with Specific Clusters of Psychotic Symptoms in Schizophrenia. PLoS ONE, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066571

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