Perception of facial features is crucial in social life. In the past decades, extensive research
showed that the ability to perceive facial emotion expression was compromised in schizophrenia
patients. Given that face perception involves visual/cognitive and affective processing, the roles of
these two processing domains in the compromised face perception in schizophrenia were studied and
discussed, but not clearly defined. One particular issue was whether face-specific processing is
implicated in this psychiatric disorder. Recent investigations have probed into the components of face
perception processes such as visual detection, identity recognition, emotion expression discrimination
and working memory conveyed from faces. Recent investigations have further assessed the
associations between face processing and basic visual processing and between face processing and social cognitive
processing such as Theory of Mind. In this selective review, we discuss the investigative findings relevant to the issues of
cognitive and affective association and face-specific processing. We highlight the implications of multiple processing
domains and face-specific processes as potential mechanisms underlying compromised face perception in schizophrenia.
These findings suggest a need for a domain-specific therapeutic approach to the improvement of face perception in
Keywords: Cognition, facial, fusiform face area, perception, theory of mind, schizoaffective, schizophrenia, visual processing.
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