Physiological reactivity and facial expression to emotion-inducing films in patients with schizophrenia

Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2011 Dec;25(6):e37-47. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2011.08.001.


The present study aimed to investigate the physiological reactivity and recognition to emotional stimuli in outpatients with schizophrenia and in healthy controls. Skin conductance response, skin conductance level, heart rate, respiration, corrugator muscle, and orbicularis muscle were all measured using five emotion-eliciting film clips. The patients reported lower intensity of experienced anger and disgust than controls. The patient and control groups did not differ in accuracy to recognize emotions except anger. Anger, fear, amusement, and sadness had a discriminative effect on physiological responses in the two groups. These findings provide helpful physiological evidence influenced by harmful or favorable emotional stimuli. Future directions may include to clarify how physiological reactivity and subject experience to emotion are related to their functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anger / physiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Electromyography
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Fear / physiology
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Pictures
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*