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Detecting facial emotion recognition deficits in schizophrenia using dynamic stimuli of varying intensities

Hargreaves, April, Mothersill, Omar, Anderson, M., Lawless, S., Corvin, Aiden and Donohoe, Gary (2016) Detecting facial emotion recognition deficits in schizophrenia using dynamic stimuli of varying intensities. Neuroscience Letters, 633. pp. 47-54. ISSN 0304-3940

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Deficits in facial emotion recognition have been associated with functional impairments in patients with Schizophrenia (SZ). Whilst a strong ecological argument has been made for the use of both dynamic facial expressions and varied emotion intensities in research, SZ emotion recognition studies to date have primarily used static stimuli of a singular, 100%, intensity of emotion. To address this issue, the present study aimed to investigate accuracy of emotion recognition amongst patients with SZ and healthy subjects using dynamic facial emotion stimuli of varying intensities. To this end an emotion recognition task (ERT) designed by Montagne (2007) was adapted and employed.

47 patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of SZ and 51 healthy participants were assessed for emotion recognition. Results of the ERT were tested for correlation with performance in areas of cognitive ability typically found to be impaired in psychosis, including IQ, memory, attention and social cognition.

Patients were found to perform less well than healthy participants at recognising each of the 6 emotions analysed. Surprisingly, however, groups did not differ in terms of impact of emotion intensity on recognition accuracy; for both groups higher intensity levels predicted greater accuracy, but no significant interaction between diagnosis and emotional intensity was found for any of the 6 emotions. Accuracy of emotion recognition was, however, more strongly correlated with cognition in the patient cohort.

Whilst this study demonstrates the feasibility of using ecologically valid dynamic stimuli in the study of emotion recognition accuracy, varying the intensity of the emotion displayed was not demonstrated to impact patients and healthy participants differentially, and thus may not be a necessary variable to include in emotion recognition research.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognition
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2018 08:29
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2020 09:15

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