Full Program »
113. Intact Responses To Socially Relevant Emotional Images in Probands with Psychosis and their Siblings: An Event Related Potential Study
A prominent motivational theory of emotion suggests that appetitive and defensive systems enhance attention to affective stimuli. A few ERP studies showing normal sensitivity to affective vs. non-affective stimuli in people with psychotic disorders suggest these motivational systems are broadly intact in this domain of psychopathology. It remains unclear whether those with, or at heightened risk for, psychosis show abnormal ERP responses to particular types of stimuli, such as socially-relevant emotional images. To address this issue, we examined early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) responses to images involving people that were normatively pleasant (affiliative images), unpleasant (threatening images), or neutral in 84 probands with psychosis, 33 of their unaffected siblings, and 42 healthy controls. All three groups showed enhanced EPN and LPP to pleasant and unpleasant images vs. neutral images. There were no between-group differences for this valence effect. The intact sensitivity to emotion in social images among probands with psychosis, as well as their siblings, further supports the integrity of core motivational system responses across different types of stimuli in this domain of psychopathology. These findings also suggest that social deficits in psychosis do not reflect an impairment in early emotional responses to social stimuli.