Visual and audio emotion processing training for outpatients with schizophrenia: an integrated multisensory approach

Margherita Bechi, Marta Bosia, Marco Spangaro, Alessandro Pigoni, Mariachiara Buonocore, Diego Scrofani, Federica Cocchi, Laura Bianchi, Carmelo Guglielmino, Enrico Smeraldi, Roberto Cavallaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deficits in emotion processing (EP) represent a target of rehabilitation in schizophrenia, as they have been related to poor personal and social functioning. To date neither the relationship between these deficits and the generalised cognitive impairment, nor the involvement of specific mechanisms of perception (visual or auditory) are fully comprehended. We developed two treatments targeting EP, through visual or auditory channels, with the aim of disentangling possible differences and/or interactions between the two modalities in schizophrenia-related impairments, also taking into account the role of cognition and social functioning. Thirty five outpatients with schizophrenia were assessed for neurocognition, social functioning and EP (visual and auditory channel) and participated in either visual or auditory EP training or in an active control group. Results showed a significant improvement in EP through the specific channel trained for both groups, with an extended effect also on vocal stimuli for the visual training group. Positive correlations were found between working memory, social functioning and EP. Our findings help to shed light on the possible different involvement of perceptual channels in schizophrenia, as well as supporting previous evidence that emotion recognition may be inter-related but does not overlap with neurocognition and can be specifically trained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 8 2016


  • audio emotion perception
  • emotion processing
  • Schizophrenia
  • social cognitive training
  • visual emotion perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology


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