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Psychiatry Res. 1997 Jul 4;71(2):105-13.

Affect recognition in schizophrenia: a function of global impairment or a specific cognitive deficit.

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V.A. Medical Center, West Haven, CT 06515, USA.


To investigate cognitive variables related to affect recognition in schizophrenia, 63 subjects with DSM-III-R diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were administered a test battery which included the Bell-Lysaker Emotion Recognition Task (BLERT), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Wechsler Memory (WMS-R) and Adult Intelligence Scales (WAIS-R), Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, Gorham's Proverbs, and Continuous Performance Task (CPT). Coefficients revealed a moderate relationship between emotion recognition and WCST and CPT but no significant relationship with other test variables. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that approximately one-third of the variance in BLERT scores could be explained by cognitive variables including the Digit Symbol Subtest, CPT, and Hopkins Verbal Learning Test. Other analyses demonstrated that subjects with moderate to severe affect recognition impairment had more perseverative errors, had fewer complete categories on the WCST and had more errors on the CPT. However, there were no significant differences on global measures of impairment such as WAIS-R IQs and Digit Symbol Substitution Test. The discussion focuses on deficits in affect recognition as a distinct feature which contributes to the heterogeneity of the disorder.

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