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Expert Rev Neurother. 2007 Jul;7(7):807-16.

Affect recognition deficits in schizophrenia: neural substrates and psychopharmacological implications.

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University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, 10th Floor Gates Building, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Impaired emotional functioning is a prominent feature of schizophrenia that includes significant deficits in the ability to accurately recognize facial expressions of emotion. Recent work demonstrates that deficits in affect perception are related to functional outcome and negative symptoms, suggesting that remediation of these deficits may contribute to symptomatic and functional improvements. Thus far, antipsychotic drug treatments appear to be relatively ineffective as a remedial tool. However, investigations into the neurobiology of affective dysfunction show abnormal amygdala activation in schizophrenia during affect recognition tasks. Such findings indicate that regulation of amygdala responses may aid in more accurate emotion processing. Both serotonergic and anxiolytic GABAergic agents that modulate activation of the limbic system offer promising avenues for remediation efforts.

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