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Dysfunction of configural face processing in individuals at ultra-high risk for schizophrenia

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Authors
Kim, H. S.; Shin, N. Y.; Choi, J. S.; Jung, M. H.; Kang, D. H.; Kwon, J. S.; Jang, J. H.
Issue Date
2009-09
Publisher
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Citation
EUROPEAN NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY; Vol.19 ; S509-S509
Abstract
Introduction: Discrepancy in the ability to recognize faces for
patients with schizophrenia is an important aspect of the impairment
in the social cognition abilities of these individuals [1].
Many studies have revealed that adults who are 'experts' in face
processing depend on configural processing, that is, the specific
spatial relationships among face features [2]. Previous reports
have suggested that specific problems with the configural processing
of faces affect the face-recognition deficit in patients with
schizophrenia [3]. However, little is known as to whether these
deficits in face recognition are potential risk markers for schizophrenia.
The aim of this study was to examine the discriminating
ability in configural and featural processing of facial information
involved in face recognition in individuals at ultra-high risk for
schizophrenia. We hypothesized that configural processing of face
recognition in subjects at ultra-high risk for schizophrenia as well
as schizophrenia patients would demonstrate lower performance
compared to normal controls.
Methods: This study compared the performance of a face
processing task in three groups: individuals at ultra-high risk for
schizophrenia (n=20), patients with schizophrenia (n= 18) and
normal controls (n = 20). Participants were required to decide
whether the two pictures were the same or different in a facediscrimination
task, using upright and inverted pairs of face photographs
that differed in featural or configural information. They
were shown faces consisted of 50 configural and 50 featural trials
in each set of upright and inverted blocks and chairs comprised of
50 trials in each set ofupright and inverted blocks. The configural
face task had the eyes modified by moving them five pixels in
and out horizontally and mouths modified by moving them five
pixels up and down vertically. The featural faces were changed by
pasting in three different sets of eyes from a person of the same
gender while maintaining the overall configuration. For a control
task, the chair-discrimination task ofthe featural information were
comprised of a pair of photographs of chairs, which were similar
to each other in their general contour but differed in their armrests,
back, and legs.
Results: the individuals at ultra-high risk for schizophrenia
showed poor performance in configural processing of faces but not
featural processing compared with the normal controls and showed
lower performance in discriminating configural tasks compared to
featural tasks related to the face. The individuals at ultra-high risk for schizophrenia as well as the patients with schizophrenia were
significantly lower inversion effect than the normal controls in the
configural faces, whereas there were no differences among the
three groups in the featural faces and chairs.
Conclusions: This study suggests that the specific dysfunction
in configural face processing, which has an impact on face
recognition, may be at increased risk of developing psychosis.
These results suggest that the deficits of social perception such
as face recognition in the ultra-high risk for schizophrenia may
be presented before the pre-psychotic phase and worsened during
the prodromal stages. It may be a vulnerable marker that can
be to impact deficits of face recognition in patients with schizophrenia.
ISSN
0924-977X
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/78574
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Appears in Collections:
College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Psychiatry (정신과학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_정신과학전공)
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