Risperidone versus haloperidol for perception of emotion in treatment- resistant schizophrenia: Preliminary findings

Kimmy S. Kee, Robert S. Kern, Barringer D. Marshall, Michael F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Currently, little is known about the pharmacological effects of the new generation of antipsychotic medications on perception of emotion in schizophrenia. The present study was designed to compare the effects of risperidone versus haloperidol on the ability to perceive emotion in 20 treatment-resistant schizophrenia patients, using a double-blind design. Measures of emotion perception included a facial emotion identification test (still photographs presented on videotape), a voice emotion identification test (audiotape), and an affect perception test (brief interpersonal vignettes presented on videotape). These measures were administered during the final week of baseline and after 8 weeks of double-blind medication. Risperidone treatment produced a greater effect on patients' ability to perceive emotion compared with haloperidol treatment. Additionally, all patients who received risperidone demonstrated improvement in performance between baseline and retest, compared with four of the nine patients who received haloperidol. When changes in positive symptoms were statistically controlled, the results remained significant. These findings suggest that risperidone may facilitate patients' ability to accurately perceive emotion, an effect which may be mediated either directly by risperidone's pharmacological action or perhaps indirectly by its influence on basic neurocognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 25 May 1998
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the UCLA Clinical Research Center for the Study of Schizophrenia (R.P. Liberman, P.I.), an investigator-initiated grant from the Janssen Research Foundation, and a NIMH NRSA Grant MH-14584 (K.H. Nuechterlein, P.I.). The authors wish to thank Jeffery L. Hayden, Mary Jane Robertson, M.S., and Leanne Womack, Psy.D., for their help in the preparation of this project and Maryam Etemadjam, Renee Galbavy, Susan McGurk, Ph.D. and Katherine Narr for their assistance in data collection. The authors also would like to thank Sandra Kerr, Ph.D., John Neale, Ph.D., Alan Bellack, Ph.D., Jack Blanchard, Ph.D. and Kim Mueser, Ph.D. for permission to use their measures. Data analyses were conducted by Sun Sook Hwang, M.S., M.P.H. and Jim Mintz, Ph.D. of the Methodological and Statistical Support Unit of the UCLA Clinical Research Center for the Study of Schizophrenia. Finally, the authors acknowledge the staff and administration of Camarillo State Hospital for their cooperation in this study.


  • Emotion perception
  • Haloperidol
  • Risperidone
  • Schizophrenia


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