Bipolar and Schizophrenia Share Some Cognitive Processing DeficitsFebruary 7, 2013 • By A GoodTherapy.org News Summary
Being able to accurately identify and process the emotions of others is critical to effective and harmonious social functioning. Interacting with others is based largely on perception and interpretation of another person’s emotional state and affect. Impairment in this area can lead to misinterpreted emotions and conflict. People with schizophrenia have been shown to have clear cognitive deficits with respect to emotional perception. Individuals with bipolar share many of the genetic and environmental risk factors as those with schizophrenia, yet it is unclear whether or not they share the same functional impairments.
To explore this further, Jonathan K. Wynn of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in California recently conducted a study involving 30 individuals with schizophrenia, 57 with bipolar, and 30 with no history of any mental health problem. Approximately half of the participants with bipolar were on antipsychotic medication at the time of the study. Wynn exposed the participants to pictures of faces depicting emotions of fear, sadness, happiness, anger, or disgust. He then had had them look at neutral facial expressions. They were instructed to identify the emotion on the first experiment and the gender of the face on the second experiment.
The results revealed that the participants with schizophrenia had the most difficulty accurately identifying the facial expressions. The participants with bipolar identified the emotions more accurately, but took much longer to do so. And when they did, their results were still significantly lower than the control group’s results. When he assessed gender recognition abilities, Wynn found again that both bipolar and schizophrenic participants had deficits in recognizing facial gender. These results were similar for both the bipolar participants who were taking medication and those who were not. “Schizophrenia patients show deficits at multiple stages of facial affect processing whereas the deficits in bipolar disorder seem to be less severe and appear at the later stage of affect decoding,” said Wynn. Despite those differences, these findings clearly show that people with bipolar can face challenges in social settings due to delays and impairments in cognitive processing.
J, K. Wynn, et al. Event-related potential examination of facial affect processing in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine 43.1 (2013): 109-17. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.
© Copyright 2013 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.
STanlEYFebruary 8th, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Yes the bipolar patients did experience some difficulty, but their illness is manageable in a way that a patient with schizophrenia would never know.
BretFebruary 9th, 2013 at 11:39 PM
It’s understood that the severity would be more in people with schizophrenia..but does this similarity mean anything?could the same methods be employed in treatment..?also,in what other ways does this finding build relationship between bipolar and schizophrenia?would it help in treatment of either or both ?
Leave a Comment
By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of GoodTherapy.org's Terms and Conditions of Use.
Search Our Blog
- Dr. Marni Amsellem: Thanks for the comment, Julissa! Insomnia can be very debilitating indeed. There are definitely ways that you can receive some...
- Dr. Marni Amsellem: That strategy sounds like it works well for you, and it is also something that sleep experts often recommend too. Thanks for...
- Kelly: Dear Ross, I completely agree with you. A major turning point for me was taking accountability for my own happiness. I had to stop being a...
- Nikki: Hi Leigh, thank you for your comments. I’m really on a rollercoaster of a day. Turns out I was right he did not go to Weymouth in fact...
- tallulah: I have a fear that given the amount of violence out there that more and more people will start to feel this kind of prejudicial treatment...