Neurocognition and symptoms identify links between facial recognition and emotion processing in schizophrenia: Meta-analytic findings

Academic Article


  • Background: In schizophrenia patients, one of the most commonly studied deficits of social cognition is emotion processing (EP), which has documented links to facial recognition (FR). But, how are deficits in facial recognition linked to emotion processing deficits? Can neurocognitive and symptom correlates of FR and EP help differentiate the unique contribution of FR to the domain of social cognition? Methods: A meta-analysis of 102 studies (combined n= 4826) in schizophrenia patients was conducted to determine the magnitude and pattern of relationships between facial recognition, emotion processing, neurocognition, and type of symptom. Results: Meta-analytic results indicated that facial recognition and emotion processing are strongly interrelated (r= .51). In addition, the relationship between FR and EP through voice prosody (r= .58) is as strong as the relationship between FR and EP based on facial stimuli (r= .53). Further, the relationship between emotion recognition, neurocognition, and symptoms is independent of the emotion processing modality - facial stimuli and voice prosody. Discussion: The association between FR and EP that occurs through voice prosody suggests that FR is a fundamental cognitive process. The observed links between FR and EP might be due to bottom-up associations between neurocognition and EP, and not simply because most emotion recognition tasks use visual facial stimuli. In addition, links with symptoms, especially negative symptoms and disorganization, suggest possible symptom mechanisms that contribute to FR and EP deficits. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ventura J; Wood RC; Jimenez AM; Hellemann GS
  • Start Page

  • 78
  • End Page

  • 84
  • Volume

  • 151
  • Issue

  • 1-3