PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Mental Health Sciences II.

Beta desynchronization and facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia


Hajnalka Molnár1
1: Semmelweis Egyetem Pszichiátriai és Pszichoterápiás Klinika

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Impaired facial emotion recognition is recognized as a prominent symptom of schizophrenia, significantly affecting patients' social interactions and daily functioning.
Recent studies suggest a link between beta desynchronization and facial emotion recognition, indicating that it could help us understand the electrophysiological background of this symptom.
Aims: The aim of our study was to analyzed beta desynchronization related to emotional facial displays.
Methods: A total of 37 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and 40 healthy controls participated in the study, matched in gender, age, and education level. EEG recordings were obtained using a 128-channel system while participants were presented with happy, neutral, and sad faces from the 'Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces (KDEF)' database. The subjects were asked to push a button to identify the presented emotion. The EEG data was analysed in a 300-700 ms and a 700-900 ms time window.
Results: Beta desynchronization was observed in both groups. The patients showed reduced event-related desynchronization in the early (300-700 ms) time window, which correlated with poorer emotion recognition performance. The between-group difference was significant in this time window. In the late time window (700-900 ms), the beta desynchronization differed between the three presented emotions and regions of interest. Although we could not find significant difference between the two study groups in the second time window.
Conclusion: Our results lead to the conclusion, that beta desynchronization is connected to the impaired facial emotion recognition. The reduced beta desynchronization is correlated with poorer emotion recognition performance.
Funding: Our research was supported by the National Fund for Scientific Research (OTKA 138385), and the EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00009, "Development of scientific workshops in the training of physicians, health scientists and pharmacists".