Existing evidence suggests that patients with schizophrenia may have a deficit in processing facial expressions. However, the neural basis of this processing deficit remains unclear. A total of 20 men diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia and 13 age- and sex-matched controls participated in the study. We investigated visual N170 and P3a components evoked in response to fearful, happy, and sad faces during an emotion discrimination task. Compared with control subjects, patients showed significantly smaller N170 amplitudes bilaterally (P =.04). We found no significant main effect of emotion of the presented faces (fearful, happy, or sad) on N170 amplitude. Patients showed significantly smaller P3a amplitudes in response to fearful (P =.01) and happy (P =.02) faces, but no significant between-group differences were observed for sad faces (P =.22). Moreover, we found no significant P3a modulation effect in response to emotional faces in patients with schizophrenia. Our results suggest that altered P3a modulations to emotional faces may be associated with emotion recognition deficits in patients with schizophrenia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology