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Reduction in Tonal Discriminations Predicts Receptive Emotion Processing Deficits in Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2013 (English)In: Schizophrenia Bulletin, ISSN 0586-7614, E-ISSN 1745-1701, Vol. 39, no 1, 86-93 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Schizophrenia patients show decreased ability to identify emotion based upon tone of voice (voice emotion recognition), along with deficits in basic auditory processing. Interrelationship among these measures is poorly understood. Methods: Forty-one patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder and 41 controls were asked to identify the emotional valence (happy, sad, angry, fear, or neutral) of 38 synthesized frequency-modulated (FM) tones designed to mimic key acoustic features of human vocal expressions. The mean (F0M) and variability (F0SD) of fundamental frequency (pitch) and absence or presence of high frequency energy (HF500) of the tones were independently manipulated to assess contributions on emotion identification. Forty patients and 39 controls also completed tone-matching and voice emotion recognition tasks. Results: Both groups showed a nonrandom response pattern (P < .0001). Stimuli with highest and lowest F0M/F0SD were preferentially identified as happy and sad, respectively. Stimuli with low F0M and midrange F0SD values were identified as angry. Addition of HF500 increased rates of angry and decreased rates of sad identifications. Patients showed less differentiation of response across frequency changes, leading to a highly significant between-group difference in response pattern to maximally identifiable stimuli (d = 1.4). The differential identification pattern for FM tones correlated with deficits in basic tone-matching ability (P = .01), voice emotion recognition (P < .001), and negative symptoms (P < .001).Conclusions: Specific FM tones conveyed reliable emotional percepts in both patients and controls and correlated highly with deficits in ability to recognize information based upon tone of voice, suggesting significant bottom-up contributions to social cognition and negative symptom impairments in schizophrenia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2013. Vol. 39, no 1, 86-93 p.
Keyword [en]
affective prosody, early sensory processing, social cognition
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85758DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbr060ISI: 000312881300013OAI: diva2:584718
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Laukka, Petri
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