Perception of socially relevant stimuli in schizophrenia

Schizophr Res. 2006 Apr;83(2-3):257-67. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2005.12.856. Epub 2006 Feb 23.


To examine whether patients with schizophrenia have deficits in the appraisal of socially relevant stimuli, we tested 20 patients and 14 healthy volunteers equated for parental socioeconomic status on recognition of gender stimuli, emotional people stimuli, and emotional scenes. Patients with schizophrenia showed deficits in discrimination of subtle gender differences and in the identification of emotion from human shapes and body motion. Patients showed no impairment on measures of hedonic appraisal of emotional scenes and recognition of emotional expression in human face stimuli. Across tasks, subjects with schizophrenia showed poorer identification of happiness, anger, and fear. The findings point towards circumscribed domains of impaired social cognition in schizophrenia and suggest specific further hypotheses about the neural dysfunction that may underlie them.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Demography
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Perception*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric