IntroductionSchizophrenia in planning, problem solving and memory (Habel etal,

IntroductionSchizophrenia is a psychological disorder that is characterized by having positive and negativesymptoms (Hales et al, 2014). The positive symptoms, also known as type 1, are characterized asbehaviours that are considered unique to the illness and otherwise nonexistent in the generalpopulation (Anderson, 1995). These symptoms include disordered speech and thoughts,hallucinations (auditory, visual and olfactory) and delusions (Anderson, 1995). As for negativesymptoms or type 2, these include behaviours that are disruptive to proper functioningschizophrenic patients (Hales et al, 2014). These symptoms include flat affect, alogia, anhedonia,social withdrawal and avolition (Anderson, 1995). Apart from positive and negative symptoms,schizophrenia patients also experience cognitive impairments that affect their quality of life(Habel et al, 2010). Patients exhibit deficits in planning, problem solving and memory (Habel etal, 2010). Outside of the mental deficits that are prevalent in schizophrenic patients, there hasalso been many studies that have made efforts to try to explain their impaired social capabilities(Suslow et al, 2013). Specifically, researchers have focused on emotion recognition andprocessing in patients and found neurological abnormalities that might contribute to thesedeficits (Mier, 2014).DiagnosisFor diagnosis, an individual must experience at least 2 of the symptoms listed above for theduration of a month and for at least 6 months the individual must experience the symptomsconsistently (Hales et al, 2014). Additionally, a professional must take into consideration variousfactors that may influence diagnosis such as medical and genetic history, history of substanceEMOTION RECOGNITION AND PROCESSING 3use, other possible psychological disorders and neuroanatomical abnormalities (Hales et al,2014).ReviewThere has been focus on the neurological compositions of the patients and findings havedemonstrated those with schizophrenia do exhibit neuroanatomical differences when comparedto healthy controls (Okugawa et al, 2007). For instance, in studies of schizophrenic brains versushealthy brains, it has been discovered that white matter in the frontal lobes was smaller in theschizophrenic patients (Okugawa et al, 2007). Similarly, studies have found a reduction in greymatter in temporal lobes of schizophrenic patients (Okugawa et al, 2007). Discovering theneurological abnormalities can help researchers explain possible mechanisms involved inemotion recognition and processing.Neural Substrates that influence emotion recognition and processingWhen studying emotional recognition and processing in patients, the medial temporal role andit’s surrounding structures are focal features studied since they are known to play an importantrole in both processes (Mcdonald, 2000). The structures that have been researched and found topossibly affect different aspects of emotion recognition and processing in patients are thefusiform gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, amygdala and the insula.EMOTION RECOGNITION AND PROCESSING 4Fusiform GyrusIt has been found that during face recognition assessments there is little activation in the fusiformareas while healthy individuals experienced higher amounts of activation for the same tasks(Habel et al, 2010). It has been found that higher levels of negative symptoms were related toreduction in the left fusiform gyrus and have accounted for facial memory deficits (Habel et al,2010). More specifically, smaller volume in the left anterior fusiform gyrus had a role in poorperformance on facial memory tasks (Nestor et al, 2007). Mark and Hall explained that the socialdeficits might be in part due to the inability to encode face properties due to the abnormalities ofthe (Habel et al, 2010).Parahippocampal GyrusWhen presented happy, sad and angry faces, researchers found that there was hypoactivation inthe parahippocampal gyrus (Mcdonald et al, 2000; Habel et al, 2010). It was also found thatschizophrenic individuals experienced an opposite pattern of asymmetry in the parahippocampalvolume, where the right side was greater than the left (Mcdonald et al, 2000). In nonschizophrenic individuals the left side was greater, this shift in volume might play a role in theemotion recognition deficits (Mcdonald et al, 2000).Superior Temporal Gyrus (STG)The positive symptoms of schizophrenia were found to correlate with the reduction in volume inthe left superior temporal gyrus, with the left posterior area having the greatest correlation(Habel et al, 2010). In addition to smaller volume, the STG demonstrated lower activationlevels during emotion and facial recognition tasks (Nestor et al, 2007). When presented withEMOTION RECOGNITION AND PROCESSING 5happy, angry and neutral facial stimuli, there was significantly lower levels of activation of theSTG in patients in comparison to the controls (Nestor et al, 2007).AmygdalaIt has been found that when presented neutral faces, schizophrenic patients experience higherresponse in the left amygdala (Suslow et al, 2013). On the contrary, when presented facesexpressing anger, happiness and neutrality compared to no facial expression a higher level ofright amygdala activity was found in the patients (Suslow et al, 2013). The patients experienceda sharp increase in responses in the right amygdala initially but there was a steep decline inresponse activation over time afterwards (Suslow et al, 2013). Another study found that patientsmade errors with recognition of neutral and happy faces and showed a negative bias for neutralfaces when mislabelling them (Mier et al, 2014).InsulaSimilarly to the other structures, the schizophrenic insula has lower grey matter volumebilaterally than those without the illness (Wylie & Tregellas, 2010). It has been discovered thatthe insula is active during facial recognition tasks in healthy controls but there is little activationfor those with schizophrenia. When presented happy faces there is lower levels of activation inthe left insula in comparison to controls and when shown sad faces there was lower activation inthe right insula (Habel et al, 2010). The lack of activity in the insula during recognition tasks candemonstrate the abnormalities in processing for schizophrenic individuals (Wylie & Tregellas,2010).EMOTION RECOGNITION AND PROCESSING 6Assessments used for findingsThere are a number of methods to test the neural substrates involved in different levels ofprocessing. For testing emotion recognition and processing, a majority of the researchers simplyused tests that involved presenting patients and controls with faces expressing various emotions(happy, sad, angry, fearful, disgust and neutral) and had subjects select corresponding emotions.While presenting these faces the researchers simultaneously used various brain imaging methods(mainly fMRI) to record activity in different areas to locate association areas. Habel andColleagues (2010) used the Facial Emotions for Brain Activation (FEBA) test in their study (Guret al, 2002). In Nestor and Colleagues (2007) study they used The Positive and NegativeSyndrome Scale (PANSS) to note the rate of positive and negative symptoms in the patients andthe Faces II subtest of Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-III) to test for facial recognition (Kay,1986; Wechsler, 1997).Future ResearchAn interesting idea for future research would be looking into whether there’s a difference infacial and emotion processing in patients that demonstrate different symptoms and how it canimpact their social cognitive abilities. For example, whether schizophrenic patients that exhibitsevere visual hallucinations have impairments at different levels of emotion or facial processingin comparison to those who don’t experience visual hallucinations but suffer from severedelusions. Since there would be different levels of activity in different areas when accounting forthe positive symptoms, figuring out how the activity also affects the areas involved in emotionsmay provide better understanding on how the schizophrenic brain is impacted.


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