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October 2021

Poor perception of nonverbal social-emotional cues in relatives of schizophrenic patients

Author(s): Seidman, L. J., Lyons, M. J., Faraone, S. V., Tsuang, M. T.

Journal/Book: Schizophr Res. 1999; 40: PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Elsevier Science Bv. 121-130.

Abstract: The present study compared nonverbal social perception in relatives of schizophrenic patients (n=21) with that of normal controls (n=19). We hypothesized that relatives would display deficits in social perception and we sought to determine the skills that are associated with this deficit. Relatives performed significantly worse than controls on the Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity Test (PONS), despite comparable performance on skills hypothesized to be related to nonverbal social perception: visual perception, nonverbal problem solving, facial recognition, facial affect recognition, naming, social judgment, and vigilance. To further explore the relationships among these skills, we calculated correlations between the PONS score and associated skills separately within both the relative and control groups and assessed whether the values of these correlations differed between groups. Correlations that differed significantly indicated a greater association, within relatives, between slower reaction times on vigilance tasks and poor PONS performance. Further research is needed to clarify the nature of this relationship, to better characterize social perception deficits in relatives, and to determine whether these perceptual deficits are part of the genetic diathesis to schizophrenia.

Note: Article Toomey R, Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Dept Psychiat 116A, Brockton W Roxbury Vet Affairs Med Ctr, 940 Belmont St, Brockton,MA 02301 USA

Keyword(s): facial affect recognition; nonverbal social perception; Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity Test; schizophrenia; social cognition; social-emotional cues; AFFECTIVE-DISORDERS; AFFECT RECOGNITION; FACIAL STIMULI; DEFICIT; RISK; JUDGMENT; PERFORMANCE; PRECURSORS; INDICATORS; SKILLS

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