A generalised deficit can account for problems in facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia
Johnston, Patrick J., Katsikitis, Mary, & Carr, Vaughan J. (2001) A generalised deficit can account for problems in facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia. Biological Psychology, 58(3), pp. 203-227.
Neuroimaging research has shown localised brain activation to different facial expressions. This, along with the finding that schizophrenia patients perform poorly in their recognition of negative emotions, has raised the suggestion that patients display an emotion specific impairment. We propose that this asymmetry in performance reflects task difficulty gradations, rather than aberrant processing in neural pathways subserving recognition of specific emotions. A neural network model is presented, which classifies facial expressions on the basis of measurements derived from human faces. After training, the network showed an accuracy pattern closely resembling that of healthy subjects. Lesioning of the network led to an overall decrease in the network’s discriminant capacity, with the greatest accuracy decrease to fear, disgust and anger stimuli. This implies that the differential pattern of impairment in schizophrenia patients can be explained without having to postulate impairment of specific processing modules for negative emotion recognition.
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