Schizophrenia patients have difficulty interpreting facial emotions. This proposal examines their ability to implicitly learn facial stimuli. It uses a paradigm developed by Lewicki and his colleagues in which people learn non-salient covariations, or relations between features that are presented together, without having express knowledge of these co-variations. First, subjects will implicitly learn a co-variation between word-emotion pairs and their spatial location on a video screen. Because prior work shows normal implicit learning of verbal material in schizophrenia it is expected that patients will perform normally on this task. Second, pictures of faces replace verbal material. Thus, subjects will associate a covariation between a face- emotion pair and its spatial location on a video screen. Because this task does not require patients to process internal facial features, it is expected that patients will perform normally on this task as well. Finally, subjects will be presented with a covariation between internal facial features and emotion. Because learning the covariation requires perception of internal facial features, it is expected that the patients will be impaired. If patients do not show normal learning, it will be the first demonstration of abnormal implicit learning of faces in this group. If patients perform normally on this implicit learning tasks, then this finding demonstrates an intact system for learning covariations. Further, this method of training would be a potential therapeutic means for teaching schizophrenia patients how to interpret social cues.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
Project #
5F31MH012207-02
Application #
6185153
Study Section
Clinical Psychopathology Review Committee (CPP)
Program Officer
Altman, Fred
Project Start
2000-09-15
Project End
Budget Start
2000-09-15
Budget End
2001-09-14
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2000
Total Cost
$20,630
Indirect Cost
Name
Georgetown University
Department
Psychiatry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
049515844
City
Washington
State
DC
Country
United States
Zip Code
20057
Marvel, Cherie L; Schwartz, Barbara L; Howard, Darlene V et al. (2005) Implicit learning of non-spatial sequences in schizophrenia. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 11:659-67
Marvel, Cherie L; Schwartz, Barbara L; Rosse, Richard B (2004) A quantitative measure of postural sway deficits in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res 68:363-72
Marvel, Cherie L; Schwartz, Barbara L; Isaacs, Keren L (2004) Word production deficits in schizophrenia. Brain Lang 89:182-91
Schwartz, Barbara L; Marvel, Cherie L; Drapalski, Amy et al. (2002) Configural processing in face recognition in schizophrenia. Cognit Neuropsychiatry 7:15-39