Impairments in judgment of chimeric faces by schizophrenic and affective patients

Ruth Lior, Israel Nachson

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16 Scopus citations


The hypothesis that schizophrenic and affective patients have differential impairments in judgment of facial emotional expressions was tested on 55 right-handed patients: 15 in each of two groups of schizophrenic patients, with positive and negative symptoms; and 10 in each of two groups of bipolar affective patients, in manic and depressive states. In addition, 37 normal control subjects were also tested. The subjects were presented with eight schematic drawings of chimeric faces (each depicting a positive emotion in a given hemiface, and a negative emotion in the other hemiface), as well as with two drawings of composite faces (each depicting either a positive or a negative emotion). Subjects judged the emotions depicted by the facial expressions, as well as their intensity. The data, analyzed by analyses of variance, showed that normals judged the chimeric expressions on the basis of the emotions depicted by the left hemifaces. This tendency was weaker among the psychiatric patients. Schizophrenics with negative symptoms judged positive expressions in the left hemifaces as depicting negative emotions, and negative expressions as depicting positive emotions. Schizophrenics with positive symptoms and manic patients judged all expressions as depicting positive emotions. Depressive patients showed a stronger tendency to judge negative expressions as depicting negative emotions than positive expressions as depicting positive emotions. No significant group differences appeared in judgment of composite faces (except for schizophrenic with negative symptoms who were more accurate in judging positive than negative expressions). Patients' performances were interpreted in terms of differential dysfunctions in posterior areas of the right cerebral hemisphere which might be associated with bilateral effects of dysfunctions in anterior cerebral areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-209
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*The paper is based on the first author's thesis. submitted to Bar-Ilan University in partial fiilfillment of the requirements toward the M.A. degree. The study was supported by grant number 2313 given by the Research Authority, Bar-Ilan University. The authors acknowledge the help given bq Richard Shiffer in the selection of patients. TCorresponding author. Tel.: + 972-3-531-8221. Fax: + 972-3-6350995, e-mail: nachsi!a


  • Affective patients
  • Chimeric faces
  • Schizophrenics


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