Facial discrimination and emotional recognition in schizophrenia and affective disorders

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986 Mar;43(3):276-9. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800030094010.


Current research demonstrates that patients with schizophrenia display deficits in a broad range of interpersonal skills. To investigate the ability of patients with schizophrenia and major depression and normal controls to process facial stimuli, four tasks were constructed from 21 photographs of faces representing standardized poses of fundamental emotions. Two tasks were designed to investigate facial identity matching independent of emotion expressed, and two tasks were designed to test emotion recognition and emotion labeling, respectively. Results indicate that while depressed patients differed from controls only on the emotion-labeling task, those with schizophrenia showed deficits on all four tasks when compared with controls and did worse than patients with depression on the emotion tasks. The findings suggest that patients with schizophrenia are impaired on a broader range of facial perception skills than those with depression, when compared with controls.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Discrimination, Psychological*
  • Emotions*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Social Perception
  • Visual Perception