Clinical studies in the face perception literature report that schizophrenics have a deficit in face identification. However, it is not clear whether this deficit is a part of a general cognitive impairment or is specific to faces per se. In this study, 40 male patients with schizophrenia and 40 male healthy controls were presented with a match/mismatch face identification task, in which faces were presented upright or upside down, and a standard 1-in-6 object matching task, which consisted of a target line drawing of common objects and a six-variant target-present line-up. Schizophrenic patients performed worse with objects and all faces than the control subjects. In addition, the schizophrenic patients also showed a marked decline in performance over the course of the experiment. These findings suggest that the perceptual problems that have been observed with faces in schizophrenic patients reflect a general cognitive impairment that also affects object perception.


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