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Brain Nerve. 2012 Jul;64(7):815-20.

[Face recognition in patients with schizophrenia].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan.


It is well known that patients with schizophrenia show severe deficiencies in social communication skills. These deficiencies are believed to be partly derived from abnormalities in face recognition. However, the exact nature of these abnormalities exhibited by schizophrenic patients with respect to face recognition has yet to be clarified. In the present paper, we review the main findings on face recognition deficiencies in patients with schizophrenia, particularly focusing on abnormalities in the recognition of facial expression and gaze direction, which are the primary sources of information of others' mental states. The existing studies reveal that the abnormal recognition of facial expression and gaze direction in schizophrenic patients is attributable to impairments in both perceptual processing of visual stimuli, and cognitive-emotional responses to social information. Furthermore, schizophrenic patients show malfunctions in distributed neural regions, ranging from the fusiform gyrus recruited in the structural encoding of facial stimuli, to the amygdala which plays a primary role in the detection of the emotional significance of stimuli. These findings were obtained from research in patient groups with heterogeneous characteristics. Because previous studies have indicated that impairments in face recognition in schizophrenic patients might vary according to the types of symptoms, it is of primary importance to compare the nature of face recognition deficiencies and the impairments of underlying neural functions across sub-groups of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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