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Changing facial affect recognition in schizophrenia: effects of training on brain dynamics.

Popova P, Popov TG, Wienbruch C, Carolus AM, Miller GA, Rockstroh BS - Neuroimage Clin (2014)

Bottom Line: Structured training can have substantial effects on social cognitive measures including facial affect recognition.Moreover, alpha power increase during the dynamic facial affect recognition task was larger after affect training than after treatment-as-usual, though similar to that after targeted perceptual-cognitive training, indicating somewhat nonspecific benefits.Alpha power modulation was unrelated to general neuropsychological test performance, which improved in all groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Deficits in social cognition including facial affect recognition and their detrimental effects on functional outcome are well established in schizophrenia. Structured training can have substantial effects on social cognitive measures including facial affect recognition. Elucidating training effects on cortical mechanisms involved in facial affect recognition may identify causes of dysfunctional facial affect recognition in schizophrenia and foster remediation strategies. In the present study, 57 schizophrenia patients were randomly assigned to (a) computer-based facial affect training that focused on affect discrimination and working memory in 20 daily 1-hour sessions, (b) similarly intense, targeted cognitive training on auditory-verbal discrimination and working memory, or (c) treatment as usual. Neuromagnetic activity was measured before and after training during a dynamic facial affect recognition task (5 s videos showing human faces gradually changing from neutral to fear or to happy expressions). Effects on 10-13 Hz (alpha) power during the transition from neutral to emotional expressions were assessed via MEG based on previous findings that alpha power increase is related to facial affect recognition and is smaller in schizophrenia than in healthy subjects. Targeted affect training improved overt performance on the training tasks. Moreover, alpha power increase during the dynamic facial affect recognition task was larger after affect training than after treatment-as-usual, though similar to that after targeted perceptual-cognitive training, indicating somewhat nonspecific benefits. Alpha power modulation was unrelated to general neuropsychological test performance, which improved in all groups. Results suggest that specific neural processes supporting facial affect recognition, evident in oscillatory phenomena, are modifiable. This should be considered when developing remediation strategies targeting social cognition in schizophrenia.

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A: Performance differences on the four FAT tasks between schizophrenia groups (SZ) and the HC24 healthy comparison group expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g). Left: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) for SZ's first FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. Right: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) at the end of the intervention period for SZ's last FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. B: Left: performance scores (ordinate, with higher score indicating better performance) per task (abscissa: same/different, blended emotion task, emotion sequence, emotion location task; see text for description of each task) plotted separately for pre-training (dark gray bars) and post-training (hatched bars) in the FAT group. Scores represent mean ± 1.0 SE. *p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. Right: performance difference post-training relative to pre-training expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g) per task, bars indicating better performance after the 20-session training period.
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f0015: A: Performance differences on the four FAT tasks between schizophrenia groups (SZ) and the HC24 healthy comparison group expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g). Left: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) for SZ's first FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. Right: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) at the end of the intervention period for SZ's last FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. B: Left: performance scores (ordinate, with higher score indicating better performance) per task (abscissa: same/different, blended emotion task, emotion sequence, emotion location task; see text for description of each task) plotted separately for pre-training (dark gray bars) and post-training (hatched bars) in the FAT group. Scores represent mean ± 1.0 SE. *p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. Right: performance difference post-training relative to pre-training expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g) per task, bars indicating better performance after the 20-session training period.

Mentions: FAT task performance was poorer in SZ during their first FAT session than in the HC24 group during their one FAT session (same-different task F(1,41) = 7.69, p = .008; blended emotion task F(1,41) = 8.24, p = .006; emotion sequence task F(1,41) = 16.11, p < .001; emotion location task F(1,41) = 16.19, p < .001; Fig. 3A). Performance improved with training on all four tasks in the FAT group, significantly in three tasks (Fig. 3B, left): same/different, F(1,18) = 4.99, p = .04; blended emotion F(1,18) = 10.17, p = .005; emotion sequence F(1,18) = 3.28, p = .09; emotion location F(1,18) = 13.12, p = .002. In the last FAT training session, SZ no longer differed significantly from HC24 on three of the four tasks. SZ still performed worse in the emotion location task (F(1,41) = 6.72, p = .01; see also effect sizes in Fig. 3B, right).


Changing facial affect recognition in schizophrenia: effects of training on brain dynamics.

Popova P, Popov TG, Wienbruch C, Carolus AM, Miller GA, Rockstroh BS - Neuroimage Clin (2014)

A: Performance differences on the four FAT tasks between schizophrenia groups (SZ) and the HC24 healthy comparison group expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g). Left: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) for SZ's first FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. Right: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) at the end of the intervention period for SZ's last FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. B: Left: performance scores (ordinate, with higher score indicating better performance) per task (abscissa: same/different, blended emotion task, emotion sequence, emotion location task; see text for description of each task) plotted separately for pre-training (dark gray bars) and post-training (hatched bars) in the FAT group. Scores represent mean ± 1.0 SE. *p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. Right: performance difference post-training relative to pre-training expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g) per task, bars indicating better performance after the 20-session training period.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY-NC-ND
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4215531&req=5

f0015: A: Performance differences on the four FAT tasks between schizophrenia groups (SZ) and the HC24 healthy comparison group expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g). Left: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) for SZ's first FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. Right: hatched bars illustrate effect sizes (group differences) at the end of the intervention period for SZ's last FAT session and HC24's only FAT session. B: Left: performance scores (ordinate, with higher score indicating better performance) per task (abscissa: same/different, blended emotion task, emotion sequence, emotion location task; see text for description of each task) plotted separately for pre-training (dark gray bars) and post-training (hatched bars) in the FAT group. Scores represent mean ± 1.0 SE. *p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. Right: performance difference post-training relative to pre-training expressed as effect sizes (Hedges' g) per task, bars indicating better performance after the 20-session training period.
Mentions: FAT task performance was poorer in SZ during their first FAT session than in the HC24 group during their one FAT session (same-different task F(1,41) = 7.69, p = .008; blended emotion task F(1,41) = 8.24, p = .006; emotion sequence task F(1,41) = 16.11, p < .001; emotion location task F(1,41) = 16.19, p < .001; Fig. 3A). Performance improved with training on all four tasks in the FAT group, significantly in three tasks (Fig. 3B, left): same/different, F(1,18) = 4.99, p = .04; blended emotion F(1,18) = 10.17, p = .005; emotion sequence F(1,18) = 3.28, p = .09; emotion location F(1,18) = 13.12, p = .002. In the last FAT training session, SZ no longer differed significantly from HC24 on three of the four tasks. SZ still performed worse in the emotion location task (F(1,41) = 6.72, p = .01; see also effect sizes in Fig. 3B, right).

Bottom Line: Structured training can have substantial effects on social cognitive measures including facial affect recognition.Moreover, alpha power increase during the dynamic facial affect recognition task was larger after affect training than after treatment-as-usual, though similar to that after targeted perceptual-cognitive training, indicating somewhat nonspecific benefits.Alpha power modulation was unrelated to general neuropsychological test performance, which improved in all groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Deficits in social cognition including facial affect recognition and their detrimental effects on functional outcome are well established in schizophrenia. Structured training can have substantial effects on social cognitive measures including facial affect recognition. Elucidating training effects on cortical mechanisms involved in facial affect recognition may identify causes of dysfunctional facial affect recognition in schizophrenia and foster remediation strategies. In the present study, 57 schizophrenia patients were randomly assigned to (a) computer-based facial affect training that focused on affect discrimination and working memory in 20 daily 1-hour sessions, (b) similarly intense, targeted cognitive training on auditory-verbal discrimination and working memory, or (c) treatment as usual. Neuromagnetic activity was measured before and after training during a dynamic facial affect recognition task (5 s videos showing human faces gradually changing from neutral to fear or to happy expressions). Effects on 10-13 Hz (alpha) power during the transition from neutral to emotional expressions were assessed via MEG based on previous findings that alpha power increase is related to facial affect recognition and is smaller in schizophrenia than in healthy subjects. Targeted affect training improved overt performance on the training tasks. Moreover, alpha power increase during the dynamic facial affect recognition task was larger after affect training than after treatment-as-usual, though similar to that after targeted perceptual-cognitive training, indicating somewhat nonspecific benefits. Alpha power modulation was unrelated to general neuropsychological test performance, which improved in all groups. Results suggest that specific neural processes supporting facial affect recognition, evident in oscillatory phenomena, are modifiable. This should be considered when developing remediation strategies targeting social cognition in schizophrenia.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus