Deficits in facial emotion perception have been linked to deficits in functional outcome in schizophrenia. However, the specific ways in which emotion perception is abnormal in schizophrenia and its relationship to functional outcome remain poorly understood. To better determine the nature of facial emotion perception deficits in schizophrenia, we utilized the ‘Bubbles Facial Emotion Perception Task’ to identify differences in usage of visual facial information in schizophrenia patients (n = 20), and controls (n = 20), when differentiating between angry and neutral facial expressions. As hypothesized,
schizophrenia patients required more facial information than controls to accurately
differentiate between angry and neutral facial expressions, and relied on different facial features and spatial frequencies to differentiate these facial expressions. Additionally, a positive relationship of moderate strength was found between the degree of divergence from ‘normal’ visual facial information usage and lower overall social functioning.