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Unseen Affective Faces Influence Person Perception Judgments in Schizophrenia.

  • Author(s): Kring, Ann M;
  • Siegel, Erika H;
  • Barrett, Lisa Feldman
  • et al.

To demonstrate the influence of unconscious affective processing on consciously processed information among people with and without schizophrenia, we used a continuous flash suppression (CFS) paradigm to examine whether early and rapid processing of affective information influences first impressions of structurally neutral faces. People with and without schizophrenia rated visible neutral faces as more or less trustworthy, warm, and competent when paired with unseen smiling or scowling faces compared to when paired with unseen neutral faces. Yet, people with schizophrenia also exhibited a deficit in explicit affect perception. These findings indicate that early processing of affective information is intact in schizophrenia but the integration of this information with semantic contexts is problematic. Furthermore, people with schizophrenia who were more influenced by smiling faces presented outside awareness reported experiencing more anticipatory pleasure, suggesting that the ability to rapidly process affective information is important for anticipation of future pleasurable events.

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