Visual attention to emotional face in schizophrenia: an eye tracking study.
AbstractObjective: Deficits in the processing of facial emotions have been reported extensively in patients with schizophrenia. To explore whether restricted attention is the cause of impaired emotion processing in these patients, we examined visual attention through tracking eye movements in response to emotional and neutral face stimuli in a group of patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. We also examined the correlation between visual attention allocation and symptoms severity in our patient group.
Method: Thirty adult patients with schizophrenia and 30 matched healthy controls participated in this study. Visual attention data were recorded while participants passively viewed emotional-neutral face pairs for 500 ms. The relationship between the visual attention and symptoms severity were assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) in the schizophrenia group. Repeated Measures ANOVAs were used to compare the groups.
Results: Comparing the number of fixations made during face-pairs presentation, we found that patients with schizophrenia made fewer fixations on faces, regardless of the expression of the face. Analysis of the number of fixations on negative-neutral pairs also revealed that the patients made fewer fixations on both neutral and negative faces. Analysis of number of fixations on positive-neutral pairs only showed more fixations on positive relative to neutral expressions in both groups. We found no correlations between visual attention pattern to faces and symptom severity in schizophrenic patients.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the facial recognition deficit in schizophrenia is related to decreased attention to face stimuli. Finding of no difference in visual attention for positive-neutral face pairs between the groups is in line with studies that have shown increased ability to positive emotional perception in these patients.
Beedie SA, Clair MD, Philip J, Benson J. Atypical scanpaths in schizophrenia: Evidence of a trait- or state-dependent phenomenon? Psychiatry Neurosci. 2011; 36: 150–164.
Kee KS, Green MF, Mintz J, Brekke JS. Is emotion processing a predictor of functional outcome in schizophrenia? Schizophr Bull 2003; 29: 487 -497
Fiszdon JM, Richardson R, Greig T, Bell MD. A comparison of basic and social cognition between schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Schizophr Res2007; 91:117-21.
Greena MJ, Williams L. Visual scanpaths to threat-related faces in deluded schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research 2003; 119:271–285.
Loughland CM, Williams ML, Gorden E. Viual Scanpaths to positive And negative facial emotionin in an outpatient schizophrenic sampel. Schizophrenic Research 2002; 55:159-170.
Schneider F, Gur RC, Koch K, Bakes V, Amunts K, Shah N, et al. Impairment in the specificity of emotion processing in schizophrenia. Am. J. Psychiat 2006; 163: 442-447.
Huang J, Chan RC. Do patients with schizophrenia have a general or specific deficit in the perception of social threat? A meta-analytic study. Psychiatry Research 2011; 185: 1-8.
Pan YJ, Chen SH, Chen WJ, Liu S.K. Affect recognition as an independent social function determinant in schizophrenia. Comp. Psychiat 2011; 50:443-45.
Caharel S, Bernard C, Thibaut F, Houzir S, DiMaggio-Clozel C, Allio G, et al. The effects of familiarity and emotional expression on face processing examined by ERPs in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenic Research.2007; 95: 186-196
Bediou B, Franck N, Saoud M, Baudouni J.Y, Tiberghien G, Dalery J, et al. Effects of emotion and identity on facial affect processing in schizophrenia: Psychiatry Research 2005; 133:149-15.
Haxby JV, Hoffman EA, Gobbini MI. Human neural systems for face recognition and social communication. Biol Psychiatry 2002; 51: 59-67.
Kohler CG, Turner TH, Bilker WB, Brensinger CM, Siegel SJ, Kanes SJ, et al. Facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia: intensity effects and error pattern. Am J Psychiatry 2003; 160:1768-74.
Johnston PJ, Stojanov W, Devir H, Schall U. Functional MRI of facial emotion recognition deficits in schizophrenia and their electrophysiological correlates. Eur. J Neurosci 2005; 22: 1221-1232.
Holt DJ, Kunkel L, Weiss AP, Goff D.C, Wright C.I, Shin L.M, et al. Increased medial temporal lobe activation during the passive viewing of emotional and neutral facial expressions in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenic Research 2006; 82: 153-162.
Akbarfahimi M, Tehrani-Doost M, Ghassemi F. Emotional Face Perception in Patients with Schizophrenia: an Event-Related Potential Study. Neurophysiology 2013; 45: 249-257.
Benson PJ, Leonards U, Lothian RM, Clair DM St, Merlo MCG .Visual scan paths in first-episode schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis. J Psychiatry Neurosci 2007; 32: 267–274.
Leppänen JM, Niehaus DJ, Koen L, Schoeman R, Emsley R. Allocation of attention to the eye and mouth region of faces in schizophrenia patients. Cogn Neuropsychiatry 2008; 13: 505-509.
Levy DL, Sereno AB, Gooding DC, and O’Driscoll GA. Eye Tracking Dysfunction in Schizophrenia: Characterization and Pathophysiology. Curr Top Behav Neurosci 2010; 4: 311–347 .
Silver H, Sholmo N, Turner T, Gur R.C. Perception of happy and sad facial expressions in chronic schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 2002; 55: 171-177.
Mohammadi MR, Davidian H, Noorbala AA, Malekafzali H, Naghavi HR, Pouretemad HR, et al. An epidemiological survey of psychiatric disorders in Iran. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 2005; 1-16.
Mohammadi MR, Ghanizadeh A, Rahgozar M, Noorbala AA, Davidian H, Malekafzali H, et al. Prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder in Iran. BMC Psychiatry 2004; 4:2 .
Kanade T, Cohn JF, Tian Y. Comprehensive database for facial expression analysis. Proceedings of the Fourth IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition Grenoble, France. 2000: 46-53.
Ahmadi M, Judi M, Khorrami A, Mahmoudi-Gharaie J, Tehranidoost M,. Initial Orientation of Attention towards Emotional Faces in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Iranian journal of psychiatry. 2011; 6:87-92.
Noorbala AA, Akhondzadeh S, Davari-Ashtiani R, Amini-Nooshabadi H. Piracetam in the treatment of schizophrenia: implications for the glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenia. Journal of Clinical Pharmacotherapy. 1999; 24: 369–374.
Akhondzadeh S, Rezaei F, Larijani B, Nejatisafa AA, Kashani L, Abbasi SH. Correlation between testosterone, gonadotropins and prolactin and severity of negative symptoms in male patients with chronic schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research. 2006; 84: 405–415.
Amini H, Alimadadi Z, Nejatisafa A, Sharifi V, Ahmadi-Abhari SA. Quality of life in a group of patient with bipolar disorder and some of their clinical characteristics. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. 2009; 15:175–182.
Dyer AG, Found B, Rogers D. Visual attention and expertise for forensic signature analysis. J Forensic Sci 2006; 51:1397–1404.
Gamble AL, Rapee RM. The time-course of attentional bias in anxious children and adolescents. J Anxiety Disord 2009; 23:841–847.
Morris R, Griffiths O, Le Pelley EM, Weickert WT. Attention to Irrelevant Cues Is Related to Positive Symptoms in Schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull 2012;1092-1095.
Li H, Chan RC, McAlonan GM, Gong Q.Y. Facial emotion processing in schizophrenia: a meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging data. Schizophr Bull 2010; 36:1029-1039.
Vuilleumier P. l, How brains beware. Neural mechanisms of emotional attention. Trends in Cognitive Science 2005; 9:585–594.
Lee S. H, Kim E. Y, S, Kim S, Bae S.M. Event related potential patterns and gender effects underlying facial affect processing in schizophrenia patients. Neurosci. Res 2010; 67: 172-180.
Loughland LM, Williams CM, Green CM, Harris MJ, Gordon AW. Emotion perception in schizophrenia: an eye movement study comparing the effectiveness of risperidone vs. haloperidol. Psychiatry Res 2003; 120: 13 -27.
Kohler G, Walker JB, Martin EA, Healey K.M, Moberg P.G. Facial emotion perception in schizophrenia: a meta-analytic review. Schizophr Bull 2010; 36:1009-1019.
Silver H, Bilker W , Goodman C . Impaired recognition of happy, sad and neutral expressions in schizophrenia is emotion, but not valence, specific and context dependent. Psychiatry Research 2009; 169: 101–106.
Walther S, Federspiel A, Horn H, Bianchi P, Wiest R, Wirth M, et al. Encoding deficit during face processing within the right fusiform face area in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research 2009; 184-191.
Kee KS, Horan WP, Wynn JK, Mintz J, Michael F. An analysis of categorical perception of facial emotion in schizophrenia. Green Schizophrenia Research 2006; 87 :228–237
Marwick K, Hall J. Social cognition in schizophrenia: a review of face processing. British Medical Bulletin 2008; 88:43–58.
Copyright (c) Iranian Journal of Psychiatry
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.