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Impaired Facial Emotion Recognition in Individuals at Ultra-High Risk for Psychosis and Associations With Schizotypy and Paranoia Level

 Eunchong Seo  ;  Hye Yoon Park  ;  Kyungmee Park  ;  Se Jun Koo  ;  Su Young Lee  ;  Jee Eun Min  ;  Eun Lee  ;  Suk Kyoon An 
 FRONTIERS IN PSYCHIATRY, Vol.11 : 577, 2020-06 
Journal Title
Issue Date
facial emotion recognition ; inaccuracy ; negative response bias ; paranoia ; schizophrenia ; schizotypy ; ultra-high risk for psychosis
Background: Patients with schizophrenia and individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR) have been reported to exhibit impaired recognition of facial emotion expressions. This impairment has involved both inaccuracy and negative bias of facial emotion recognition. The present study aimed to investigate whether UHR individuals display both types of impaired facial emotion recognition and to explore correlations between these impairments and schizotypy, as well as paranoia levels, in these individuals.

Methods: A total of 43 UHR individuals and 57 healthy controls (HC) completed a facial emotion recognition task consisting of 60 standardized facial photographs. To explore correlations, we assessed schizotypy using the Revised Physical Anhedonia Scale and Magical Ideation Scale and paranoia level using the Paranoia Scale and persecution/suspicious item of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in UHR individuals.

Results: Compared with HC, UHR individuals exhibited less accuracy for facial emotion recognition (70.6% vs. 75.6%, p=0.010) and a higher rate of "fear" responses for neutral faces (14.5% vs. 6.0%, p=0.003). In UHR individuals, inaccuracy was significantly correlated with schizotypy scores, but not with paranoia level. Conversely, "disgust" response for neutral faces was the only fear response correlated with paranoia level, and no threat-related emotion response correlated with schizotypy scores.

Discussion: UHR individuals exhibited inaccuracy and negative bias of facial emotion recognition. Furthermore, schizotypy scores were associated with inaccuracy but not with negative bias of facial emotion recognition. Paranoia level was correlated with "disgust" responses for neutral faces but not with inaccuracy. These findings suggest that inaccuracy and negative bias of facial emotion recognition reflect different underlying processes, and that inaccuracy may be a vulnerability marker for schizophrenia.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Hye Yoon(박혜윤) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9579-8112
Seo, Eunchong(서은총) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2644-266X
An, Suk Kyoon(안석균) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-6184
Lee, Eun(이은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7462-0144
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