Investigating affective prosody in psychosis: a study using the Comprehensive Affective Testing System

Psychiatry Res. 2013 Dec 30;210(3):896-900. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.07.037. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


Affective prosody is substantially impaired in schizophrenia, yet little is known about affective prosody in bipolar disorder (BD). The aim of this study was to examine affective prosody performance in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and BD on a newly released standardised assessment to further our understanding of BD performance. Fifty-four schizophrenia, 11 schizoaffective and 43 BD patients were compared with 112 healthy controls (HC) on four affective prosody subtests of the Comprehensive Affective Testing System (CATS). Schizophrenia patients showed a 10% reduction in accuracy on two subtests compared to HC. BD showed a trend for performance intermediary to schizophrenia and HC; and schizoaffective patients performed more like HC on these four affective prosody measures. Severity of current auditory hallucination, across all patients, was related to task performance on three of the measures. These data confirm that schizophrenia and BD have reduced affective prosody performance, with deficits in BD being less pronounced than schizophrenia. The schizoaffective results in this study should be interpreted with caution due to small sample size.

Keywords: Affective prosody; Bipolar disorder; Language and communication; Schizophrenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Disorders, Psychotic / psychology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Female
  • Hallucinations*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*