Social Neuroscience vol:6 issue:(5-6) pages:537-547
Most studies investigating emotion recognition in schizophrenia have focused on facial expressions and neglected bodily and vocal expressions. Furthermore, little is known about affective multisensory integration in schizophrenia. In the first experiment, the authors investigated recognition of static, face-blurred, whole-body expressions (instrumental, angry, fearful, and sad) with a two-alternative, forced-choice, simultaneous matching task in a sample of schizophrenia patients, nonschizophrenic psychotic patients, and matched controls. In the second experiment, dynamic, face-blurred, whole-body expressions (fearful and happy) were presented simultaneously with either congruent or incongruent human or animal vocalizations to schizophrenia patients and controls. Participants were instructed to categorize the emotion expressed by the body and to ignore the auditory information. The results of Experiment 1 show an emotion recognition impairment in the schizophrenia group and to a lesser extent in the nonschizophrenic psychosis group, and this for all four expressions. The findings of Experiment 2 show that schizophrenia patients are more influenced by the auditory information than controls, but only when the auditory information consists of human vocalizations. This shows that schizophrenia patients are impaired in recognizing whole-body expressions, and they show abnormal affective multisensory integration of bimodal stimuli originating from the same source.