New way to help schizophrenia sufferers' social skills

Sep 10, 2008

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are investigating a new way to help schizophrenia patients develop their communication and social skills.

PhD student Kathryn McCabe is studying the eye movements of people with schizophrenia to understand better how they view other people's faces.

Ms McCabe said the ability to recognise facial expressions and social clues was impaired in people with schizophrenia.

"For most people this ability is relatively automatic and an essential component of good social and interpersonal communication, but people with schizophrenia struggle to interpret facial displays of emotion," she said.

"This may contribute to the formation of psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and social withdrawal, and interfere with vocational and educational achievement."

Ms McCabe hopes to determine whether the difficulty in reading facial expression can be changed using remediation training.

"Despite the widespread availability of medication for people with schizophrenia, other treatment options are also needed.

"We have developed a training program that we hope will help people with schizophrenia to participate socially and pick-up on facial clues."

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: Poland suffers first cases of African swine fever in pigs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

MDMA: Empathogen or love potion?

Dec 15, 2010

15 December 2010, MDMA or 'ecstasy' increases feelings of empathy and social connection. These 'empathogenic' effects suggest that MDMA might be useful to enhance the psychotherapy of people who struggle to feel connected ...

Hormone spray improves male sensitivity

Apr 29, 2010

Many women have no doubt been waiting a long time for this: the neuropeptide oytocin enhances male empathy. This substance also increases sensitivity to so-called "social multipliers", such as approving or disapproving looks. ...

Decoding funny faces to detect disease

Feb 04, 2009

Like Russell Crowe's character in A Beautiful Mind, life is often difficult for the 2.4 million Americans with schizophrenia. A late or incorrect diagnosis and the lack of effective treatment options can ...

'Love Hormone' Promotes Bonding

Feb 08, 2008

Gazing into your lover’s eyes isn’t only romantic; it may also mimic early attachments that forever alter your brain and body.

Recommended for you

Diseases of another kind

11 hours ago

The drought that has the entire country in its grip is affecting more than the color of people's lawns. It may also be responsible for the proliferation of a heat-loving amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater bodies, such ...

User comments : 0