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The Emotional Stroop task: A comparison between schizophrenic subjects and controls

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

C. Demily
Affiliation:
INSERM U614, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Rouen University Hospital Charles Nicolle, 1, rue de Germont, 76031Rouen, France
N. Attala
Affiliation:
INSERM U614, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Rouen University Hospital Charles Nicolle, 1, rue de Germont, 76031Rouen, France
G. Fouldrin
Affiliation:
INSERM U614, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Rouen University Hospital Charles Nicolle, 1, rue de Germont, 76031Rouen, France
V. Czernecki
Affiliation:
INSERM E007, University Hospital La Salpêtrière, Paris, France
J.-F. Ménard
Affiliation:
Department of Biostatistics, University of Medicine, Rouen, France
S. Lamy
Affiliation:
INSERM U614, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Rouen University Hospital Charles Nicolle, 1, rue de Germont, 76031Rouen, France
B. Dubois
Affiliation:
INSERM E007, University Hospital La Salpêtrière, Paris, France
F. Thibaut
Affiliation:
INSERM U614, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Rouen University Hospital Charles Nicolle, 1, rue de Germont, 76031Rouen, France
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Abstract

The colour-word Emotional Stroop task (ES task) has been proposed to assess the interferences between emotion and attention. Using this task, first, we examined how attention (using reaction times) can be modified by emotionally relevant words in schizophrenics as compared with controls as a function of the emotional significance of the word; second, we tested the assumption that schizophrenics with the most negative symptoms will show higher impairment in relationship to negative emotional words. In general, schizophrenics were slower to react. In both groups, mean reaction times were slower for emotional as compared with neutral words. No significant differences were observed between negative and positive words either in schizophrenics (n = 21) or in controls (n = 20). Even in the most negative schizophrenic patients, there were no differences between negative and positive words. There were no significant interactions between type of stimulus and any clinical variables (PANSS negative or non negative categorization, etc.). Also, there were no statistically significant correlations between reaction times and neuroleptic dosage or anhedonia scores. In conclusion, schizophrenia patients showed the same degree of interference from emotional words as compared with controls. Moreover, patients with a higher level of negative symptoms did not differently experience positive and negative words.

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Original articles
Copyright
Copyright © Elsevier Masson SAS 2010

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Equal contribution.

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