Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

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

Controlled Subject

Psychobiology; Cognitive psychology; Clinical psychology

File Format


File Size

3184.64 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit