Emotion Recognition and Psychosis-Proneness: Neural and Behavioral Perspectives

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Emotion Recognition and Psychosis-Proneness: Neural and Behavioral Perspectives

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Title: Emotion Recognition and Psychosis-Proneness: Neural and Behavioral Perspectives
Author: Germine, Laura Thi
Citation: Germine, Laura Thi. 2012. Emotion Recognition and Psychosis-Proneness: Neural and Behavioral Perspectives. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: Schizophrenia is associated with deficits in social cognition and emotion processing, but it is not known how these deficits relate to other domains of neurocognition and whether they might contribute to psychosis development. The current dissertation approaches this question by looking at the relationship between psychosis proneness and face emotion recognition ability, a core domain of social-emotional processing. Psychosis proneness was inferred by the presence of psychosis-like characteristics in otherwise healthy individuals, using self-report measures. Face emotion recognition ability was found to be associated with psychosis-proneness across four large web-based samples and one lab sample. These associations were relatively specific, and could not be explained by differences in face processing or IQ. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), psychosis-proneness was linked with reduced neural activity in brain regions that underlie normal face emotion recognition, including regions that are implicated in self-representation. Additional experiments were conducted to explore psychosis-proneness related differences in self-representation, and a relationship was revealed between cognitive-perceptual (positive) dimensions of psychosis-proneness and (1) flexibility in the body representation (as measured by the rubber hand illusion), and (2) self-referential source memory (but not self-referential recognition memory). Neither of these relationships, however, explained the association between psychosis-proneness and face emotion recognition ability. These findings indicate that psychosis vulnerability is related to neural and behavioral differences in face emotion processing, and that these differences are not a secondary characteristic of psychotic illness. Moreover, poorer emotion recognition ability in psychosisprone individuals is not explained by generalized performance, IQ, or face processing deficits. Although some dimensions of psychosis-proneness were related to differences in measures of self-representation, no evidence was found that these abnormalities contribute to psychosisproneness related differences in emotion recognition ability.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9556122
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