Understanding the emotion perception and cognitive deficit in schizophrenia through a retesting of the left hemisphere overactivation hypothesis
The study is an attempt to demonstrate that the emotion recognition deficit of schizophrenics is related to their inefficient processing of the emotional information. While numerous research findings tend to support a right-hemispheric dominance on emotion perception, the schizophrenics are therefore at a disadvantage as they have a bias towards left-hemispheric processing, caused by their overactivated left-hemisphere. Twenty rehabilitating schizophrenics, fifteen middle aged males and twenty college students participated in the present study. They went through a Face Matching Task and an Auditory Emotion Recognition Test. Subjects could approach the tasks either by an sequential and analytic or by a global and holistic processing. A dual task design with finger tapping as the concurrent task was adopted for measuring the relative lateralilty across different groups of subjects on tackling these different tasks. The findings indicated that emotion recognition deficit was a chronic index of schizophrenia. Compared to normals, schizophrenics showed no atypical pattern on performing the Face Matching Task; factors affecting the response quality of the normals had the same effect on them. The left-hemisphere's dominance on processing the affective sentences as suggested by a greater interference on the right-handed tapping among the normals was attributed to the auditory tracking of the task demand and the different laterality measure adopted by the present study from
previous ones. The present results are unable to provide a conclusive answer to the notion of left-hemisphere overactivation among schizophrenics, as well as on its relation to their emotion recognition deficit. It is because the daul task design of the present study is not successful in measuring the relative laterality of the schizophrenics. The sensitivity of the Finger Tapping Test as a concurrent task applying on the schizophrenics is discussed by considering factors like the psychomotor impairment of the schizophrenics, task complexity and the modes of processing underlying the combined tasks.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:schizophrenia cerebral dominance
Date of Publication:01/01/1987