Journal Article

Emotional Priming of Facial Affect Identification in Schizophrenia

Klaus Höschel and Eva Irle

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 317-327
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a006877
Emotional Priming of Facial Affect Identification in Schizophrenia

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Twenty-three schizophrenia subjects were compared with healthy and clinical control subjects on an emotional priming task. Positive and negative emotional facial expressions were presented as primes, followed by a neutral pattern mask, then an emotionally neutral face as target. The prime-mask-target sequence was arranged to allow conscious perception of only the targets. Subjects had to judge if they had seen a pleasant or an unpleasant facial expression. All subjects judged the neutral target as significantly more unpleasant when negative emotional facial expressions were presented as primes as compared with positive or neutral facial expressions as primes. This judgment shift was significantly stronger in schizophrenia subjects than in control subjects. The stronger priming of schizophrenia subjects may reflect a stronger influence of automatically processed emotional stimuli on judgments. We suggest that increased spreading activation of emotional information might be related to low social/emotional functioning of the individual with schizophrenia.

Keywords: Schizophrenia; priming; facial affect

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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