Facial and vocal affect perception in people at ultra-high risk of psychosis, first-episode schizophrenia and healthy controls

Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 06/04/2012

The findings suggest that emotion recognition impairments may be independent of the stage of illness in schizophrenia. Deficits in emotion recognition may be present before the full expression of psychotic illness, and may contribute to the social cognition and social functioning deficits apparent in emerging psychotic disorders.

Methods

  • Seventy-nine ultra-high risk patients, 30 first-episode schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy control subjects completed a facial affect labelling test and an affective prosody recognition test.
  • Psychiatric symptoms were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).

Results

  • The authors observed significant impairments in facial and vocal emotion recognition in both of the clinical groups compared with the control group.
  • These group differences remained significant when age, sex and education were taken into account.

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