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Dissociation between affective experience and motivated behaviour in schizophrenia patients and their unaffected first-degree relatives and schizotypal individuals

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2017

Dong-jie Xie
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Simon S. Y. Lui
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China Castle Peak Hospital, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
Fu-lei Geng
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China
Zhuo-ya Yang
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Ying-min Zou
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Ying Li
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China Haidian District Mental Health Prevent-Treatment Hospital, Beijing, China
Hera K. H. Yeung
Affiliation:
Castle Peak Hospital, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
Eric F. C. Cheung
Affiliation:
Castle Peak Hospital, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
Erin A. Heerey
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
Raymond C. K. Chan*
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology and Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing, China Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
*
Author for correspondence: Raymond C. K. Chan, E-mail: rckchan@psych.ac.cn

Abstract

Background

The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.

Methods

In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.

Results

Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.

Conclusions

Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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Footnotes

These two authors contributed equally to the study.

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