Intact Facial Affect Processing in Schizophrenia


In two separate studies (one replicating the other) of 102 people with schizophrenia diagnoses researchers from McGill, UCLA, CSU, UNC, Columbia and the VA found that patients’ ratings of facial affect were consistent with those of controls, and were commensurately affected by situational context-related cues. Though previous studies have found abnormal social affect processing in people diagnosed as schizophrenic, these studies suggest there is a benefit from situational context in the interpretation of ambiguous facial affect, and that this benefit is similar for people both with and without the diagnosis. The study, which suggests implications for social cognitive training programs, appears in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].