The effect of emotional context on facial emotion ratings in schizophrenia.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Individuals with schizophrenia show deficits both in facial emotion recognition and context processing (Kohler, C.G., Walker, J.B., Martin, E.A., Healey, K.M., Moberg, P.J., 2010. Facial emotion perception in schizophrenia: a meta-analytic review. Schizophr. Bull. 36, 1009-1019). Recent evidence suggests context information can affect facial emotion recognition (Aviezer, H., Bentin, S., Hassin, R.R., Meschino, W.S., Kennedy, J., Grewal, S., Esmail, S., Cohen, S., Moscovitch, M., 2009. Not on the face alone: perception of contextualized face expressions in Huntington's disease. Brain 132, 1633-1644). Thus, individuals with schizophrenia may have deficits in facial emotion processing, at least in part, due to impairments in processing context information (Green, M.J., Waldron, J.H., Coltheart, M., 2007. Emotional context processing is impaired in schizophrenia. Cogn. Neuropsychiatry 12, 259-280.). We used a novel experimental task, the Emotion Context Processing Task (ECPT) to examine the influences of emotional context (IAPS pictures) on the processing of subtle surprised faces in schizophrenia. One of the task conditions included a manipulation designed to determine whether enhancing attention to the context (by requiring a categorization judgment on the context pictures) would facilitate the influence of context on facial emotion processing in schizophrenia. In addition, we tested whether deficits on a non-social context processing would predict deficits in the influence of context on facial emotion processing in schizophrenia. We administered the Dot Probe Expectancy Task (a non-social context processing task) and the ECPT to individuals with schizophrenia (n=35) and healthy controls (n=32). Individuals with schizophrenia showed an intact influence of context information on facial emotion recognition. The manipulation designed to enhance attention to emotional context reduced the effect of context for both groups. In schizophrenia, better processing of non-social context was associated with a stronger influence of context on valence ratings of facial expressions in the negative context condition. These results suggest in schizophrenia, similar mechanisms may influence the processing of context for both social and non-social information.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chung, YS; Barch, DM

Published Date

  • September 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 131 / 1-3

Start / End Page

  • 235 - 241

PubMed ID

  • 21719258

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3872077

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-2509

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0920-9964

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.schres.2011.05.028


  • eng