Schizophrenia is a serious behavioral disorder affecting approximately 2.2 million Americans characterized by hallucinations, delusions, severe cognitive impairment, and severe functional disability such as impaired interpersonal relationships and reduced employment. There is no cure for schizophrenia and current treatments provide only modest symptom relief to most patients and have detrimental side effects. We now understand that basic perceptual processes, such as auditory pitch processing, are impaired in schizophrenia and may explain key social deficits such as the ability to identify emotions in other people. These auditory deficits may be closely linked to the neural circuits relevant for the development of psychotic symptoms and thus may be useful predictors of psychosis onset and promising therapeutic targets. However, progress in these areas is impeded by the incomplete assessment of auditory deficits in schizophrenia and a lack of information regarding the relationship between basic auditory processing deficits and impairments in emotional processing, cognition and functional capacity. In this project, we will compare the profile of performance on a comprehensive panel of auditory perception tests in patients with schizophrenia to healthy volunteers, hypothesizing that deficits in the perception of formant discrimination are primary. This work will allow us to establish a relationship between specific auditory processing impairments and auditory emotion perception as well as clinical and cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia. Impact: This research will provide a thorough picture of the profile of auditory deficits in schizophrenia and help explain the auditory perceptual elements of emotion recognition impairment in schizophrenia. This work may inform the development of early predictive measures and early intervention therapies with long term benefits for patients and families afflicted with these complex disorders.

Public Health Relevance

Schizophrenia is a serious behavioral disorder affecting approximately 2.2 million Americans characterized by hallucinations, delusions, severe cognitive impairment, and severe functional disability such as impaired interpersonal relationships and reduced employment. This research will provide a thorough picture of the profile of auditory deficits in schizophrenia and help explain the auditory perceptual elements of emotion recognition impairment in schizophrenia. This work may inform the future development of early predictive measures and early intervention therapies with long term benefits for patients and families afflicted with these complex disorders.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
1R21MH101685-01A1
Application #
8637760
Study Section
Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging Study Section (APDA)
Program Officer
Morris, Sarah E
Project Start
2014-02-01
Project End
2016-01-31
Budget Start
2014-02-01
Budget End
2015-01-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$235,500
Indirect Cost
$85,500
Name
Duke University
Department
Psychiatry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
044387793
City
Durham
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27705