Why Schizophrenics Misunderstand Social Cues

It is very common for people with schizophrenia to have trouble understanding social situations and interactions with other people, and a new study from researchers at Vanderbilt University may help explain why.

Schizophrenics Perform Less Well on Visual Tasks

The researchers had two groups of participants, one healthy and one comprised of schizophrenia patients, perform two visual tasks: deciding whether an animated series of lights depicted an actor's body movements, and judging subtle differences between two animations shown side by side. The schizophrenia patients did not perform as well as the healthy group on either task.

Differences in Brain Activity

The researchers then used fMRI to measure brain activity while the two groups did the side by side task. The results showed that the schizophrenia patients, who again did worse on the task, had different activity in a particular brain area known as the posterior STS. It appears that this part of the brain does not distinguish between normal human activity and non-human motion in people with schizophrenia, which may explain why schizophrenics have difficulty understanding the actions of others in social situations.

Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/226362.php

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