Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Committee Member
Daniel N. Allen
Number of Pages
Affective impairments were examined in patients with and without deficit syndrome schizophrenia. A battery of tests designed to measure emotional experience, emotional information processing, and emotional perception were administered to deficit (n = 15) and non-deficit syndrome (n = 26) schizophrenia patients classified according to the Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome, and matched non-patient control subjects (n = 22). As predicted, in comparison to non-deficit patients and controls, deficit syndrome patients reported less frequent and intense experience of positive emotion, recalled significantly fewer positive words, and displayed an impaired ability to accurately identify and judge the valence of pleasant odors. Additionally, deficit patients demonstrated a unique failure to have their attention captured by positive information, as well as less accurate and efficient labeling of positive faces than non-deficit patients or controls. Abnormalities were also associated with negative emotions, such that deficit syndrome patients demonstrated impairment at identifying fearful faces, were less accurate at judging negative smells, had a bias toward recalling anger words, and displayed an elevated attentional lingering effect for negative information. These findings indicate that the deficit syndrome is associated with affective disturbances that impact a number of cognitive and sensory domains, and provide support for the notion that abnormalities may be most severe in relation to the experience and processing of positive emotions. These abnormalities may be due to a mood-congruent processing abnormality, and are consistent with the notion that frontal and limbic system dysfunction may be core to deficit syndrome schizophrenia.
Cognitive Deficits; Emotion; Emotion Processing Deficits; Neuropsychology; Positive; Processing; Schizophrenia
Psychobiology; Cognitive psychology; Clinical psychology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Strauss, Gregory P, "Positive emotion processing deficits in schizophrenia" (2008). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 2817.