Emotion recognition and theory of mind in chronic schizophrenia: association with negative symptoms
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Department of Adult Psychiatry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Submission date: 2017-08-15
Acceptance date: 2017-11-07
Publication date: 2017-12-18
Corresponding author
Janusz Rybakowski   

Department of Adult Psychiatry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Szpitalna 27/33, 60-572 Poznań, Poland
Arch Psych Psych 2017;19(4):7-12
Aim of the study:
Assessing a relationship between the negative symptoms and deficits in emotion recognition and theory of mind (ToM) as well as social functioning, in chronic schizophrenia patients.

Subject or material and methods:
Twenty patients with schizophrenia (10 male, 10 female), aged 36+11 years, with mean duration of the illness of 13+9 years, were studied during improvement period, stabilized on medications for at least 3 months. For the assessment of symptoms, the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) and the Brief Negative Symptoms Scale (BNSS) were used. Emotion recognition was measured by the Facial Emotion Identification Test (FEIT) and ToM - by the Reading Mind in the Eyes (R-MET) test. Patients' social functioning was evaluated by the Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP).

Significant correlations were obtained between the negative symptoms of PANSS and BNSS, and the results of FEIT and R-MET. Association between BNSS and FEIT was observed for anhedonia, distress, asociality, avolition, blunted affect, alogia, and with R-MET, for distress, emotional blunting and alogia. Both PANSS and BNSS negative symptoms significantly correlated with the results of PSP.

The results correspond to those of recent studies showing a priority of negative over positive symptoms in determining deficits in social cognition and functioning in chronic schizophrenia.

All domains of negative symptoms assessed by the BNSS correlated with deficits in emotion recognition and of social functioning and some domains correlated with the measure of the ToM.

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