Schizophrenia Research vol:107 issue:2-3 pages:286-293
Since Kraepelin called dementia praecox what we nowadays call schizophrenia, cognitive dysfunction has been regarded as central to its psychopathological profile. Disturbed experience and integration of emotions are, both intuitively and experimentally, likely to be intermediates between basic, non-social cognitive disturbances and functional outcome in schizophrenia. While a number of studies have consistently proven that, as part of social cognition, recognition of emotional faces and voices is disturbed in schizophrenics, studies on multisensory integration of facial and vocal affect are rare. We investigated audiovisual integration of emotional faces and voices in three groups: schizophrenic patients, non-schizophrenic psychosis patients and mentally healthy controls, all diagnosed by means of the Schedules of Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN 2.1). We found diminished crossmodal influence of emotional faces on emotional voice categorization in schizophrenics, but not in non-schizophrenia psychosis patients. Results are discussed in the perspective of recent theories on multisensory integration.