Facial expressions of emotions and schizophrenia: A review

  • Mandal M
  • Pandey R
  • Prasad A
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It is generally agreed that schizophrenia patients show
a markedly reduced ability to perceive and express
facial emotions. Previous studies have shown, however,
that such deficits are emotion-specific in schizophrenia
and not generalized. Three kinds of studies were
examined: decoding studies dealing with schizophrenia
patients' ability to perceive universally recognized
facial expressions of emotions, encoding studies deal-
ing with schizophrenia patients' ability to express cer-
tain facial emotions, and studies of subjective reactions
of patients' sensitivity toward universally recognized
facial expressions of emotions. A review of these stud-
ies shows that schizophrenia patients, despite a general
impairment of perception or expression of facial emo-
tions, are highly sensitive to certain negative emotions
of fear and anger. These observations are discussed in
the light of hemispheric theory, which accounts for a
generalized performance deficit, and social-cognitive
theory, which accounts for an emotion-specific deficit
in schizophrenia.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Decoding
  • Encoding
  • Facial emotions
  • Subjective reactions

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  • Manas K. Mandal

  • Rakesh Pandey

  • Akhouri B. Prasad

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