Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating of all mental illnesses, and has dimensional characteristics that include both positive and negative symptoms. One problem reported in schizophrenia patients is that they tend to show deficits in face emotion processing, on which negative symptoms are thought to have stronger influence. In this study, four event-related potential (ERP) components (P100, N170, N250, and P300) and their source activities were analyzed using EEG data acquired from 23 schizophrenia patients while they were presented with facial emotion picture stimuli. Correlations between positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) scores and source activations during facial emotion processing were calculated to identify the brain areas affected by symptom scores. Our analysis demonstrates that PANSS positive scores are negatively correlated with major areas of the left temporal lobule for early ERP components (P100, N170) and with the right middle frontal lobule for a later component (N250), which indicates that positive symptoms affect both early face processing and facial emotion processing. On the other hand, PANSS negative scores are negatively correlated with several clustered regions, including the left fusiform gyrus (at P100), most of which are not overlapped with regions showing correlations with PANSS positive scores. Our results suggest that positive and negative symptoms affect independent brain regions during facial emotion processing, which may help to explain the heterogeneous characteristics of schizophrenia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry