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Blunted vocal affect and expression is not associated with schizophrenia: A computerized acoustic analysis of speech under ambiguous conditions

Blunted vocal affect and expression is not associated with schizophrenia: A computerized acoustic analysis of speech under ambiguous conditions

Comprehensive Psychiatry 83: 84-88

Label="INTRODUCTION">Patients with schizophrenia are consistently rated by clinicians as having high levels of blunted vocal affect and alogia. However, objective technologies have often failed to substantiate these abnormalities. It could be the case that negative symptoms are context-dependent.Label="OBJECTIVES">The present study examined speech elicited under conditions demonstrated to exacerbate thought disorder.Label="METHODS">The Rorschach Test was administered to 36 outpatients with schizophrenia and 25 nonpatient controls. Replies to separate "perceptual" and "memory" phases were analyzed using validated acoustic analytic methods.Label="RESULTS">Compared to nonpatient controls, schizophrenia patients did not display abnormal speech expression on objective measure of blunted vocal affect or alogia. Moreover, clinical ratings of negative symptoms were not significantly correlated with objective measures.Label="CONCLUSIONS">These findings suggest that in patients with schizophrenia, vocal affect/alogia is generally unremarkable under ambiguous conditions. Clarifying the nature of blunted vocal affect and alogia, and how objective measures correspond to what clinicians attend to when making clinical ratings are important directions for future research.

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Accession: 052283609

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PMID: 29627683

DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2018.03.009

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