Impaired emotion perception in schizophrenia shows sex differences with channel- and category-specific effects: A pilot study

Yi Lin, Chuoran Li, Ruozhen Hu, Leqi Zhou, Hongwei Ding, Qing Fan, Yang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Individuals with schizophrenia reportedly demonstrate deficits in emotion perception. Relevant studies on the effects of decoder's sex, communication channels and emotion categories have produced mixed findings and seldom explored the interactions among these three key factors. The present pilot study examined how male and female individuals with schizophrenia and healthy controls perceived emotional (e.g., angry, happy, and sad) and neutral expressions from verbal semantic and nonverbal prosodic and facial channels. Twenty-eight (11 females) individuals with schizophrenia and 30 healthy controls (13 females) were asked to recognize emotional facial expressions, emotional prosody, and emotional semantics. Both accuracy and response time showed subpar performance for all communication channels and emotional categories in the schizophrenia group. More severe emotion perception deficits were found with the nonverbal (not the verbal) materials. There was also a reduced level of impairment with anger perception, especially in the female individuals with schizophrenia while biased perception towards emotional semantics was more pronounced in male individuals with schizophrenia. These findings, although preliminary, indicate the channel- and category-specific nature of emotion perception with potential sex differences among people with schizophrenia, which has important theoretical and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-157
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.W.D. and Y.Z. were supported by the major program of National Fund of Philosophy and Social Science of China ( 18ZDA293 ). Q.F. was supported by Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders (No. 13dz2260500 ) and Clinical medicine project of Shanghai Science and Technology Committee Project (No. 19411950800 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Communication channels
  • Emotion category
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sex differences
  • Verbal and nonverbal emotion perception

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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