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Affective face processing in Schizophrenia: Disorder-specific or Transdiagnostic deficit

Social cognitive dysfunction is common in patients with schizophrenia and is associated with significant functional deficits.

For this research, presented at SIRS 2018, we compared the severity of facial emotion recognition deficits in patients with both sub- and full-threshold psychotic symptoms to those observed across a range of psychiatric, neurological and developmental disorders in order to determine to what extent this represents a disorder-specific or transdiagnostic aspect of cognitive dysfunction.


We conducted an electronic database search in order to identify published, peer-reviewed meta-analyses that compared facial emotion recognition task performance between individuals meeting clinical criteria for a psychiatric, neurological or developmental condition against healthy controls.


Effect size estimates indicated that deficits were common transdiagnostically, though deficits among patients with schizophrenia were larger, and more robust, than many of the other clinical populations sampled. Deficits were also evident even among those individuals with subthreshold psychotic symptoms who met clinical criteria for being at ultra-high risk of developing a psychotic disorder.

Interested in learning more about whether affective face processing in schizophrenia is a disorder-specific or transdiagnostic deficit? Download this poster.


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