Multisensory integration of emotion in schizophrenic patients

Hongwei Ding, Yang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multisensory integration (MSI) of emotion has been increasingly recognized as an essential element of schizophrenic patients' impairments, leading to the breakdown of their interpersonal functioning. The present review provides an updated synopsis of schizophrenics' MSI abilities in emotion processing by examining relevant behavioral and neurological research. Existing behavioral studies have adopted well-established experimental paradigms to investigate how participants understand multisensory emotion stimuli, and interpret their reciprocal interactions. Yet it remains controversial with regard to congruence-induced facilitation effects, modality dominance effects, and generalized vs specific impairment hypotheses. Such inconsistencies are likely due to differences and variations in experimental manipulations, participants' clinical symptomatology, and cognitive abilities. Recent electrophysiological and neuroimaging research has revealed aberrant indices in event-related potential (ERP) and brain activation patterns, further suggesting impaired temporal processing and dysfunctional brain regions, connectivity and circuities at different stages of MSI in emotion processing. The limitations of existing studies and implications for future MSI work are discussed in light of research designs and techniques, study samples and stimuli, and clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-901
Number of pages37
JournalMultisensory Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the major project of National Social Science Foundation of China (18ZDA293). Zhang additionally received the Brain Imaging Grant and Grand Challenges Exploratory Research Grant from the University of Minnesota in support of the international collaboration. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for providing us with insightful suggestions to improve our review, and the editors for efficient handling and professional editing of our manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2020

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Emotion
  • Multisensory integration (MSI)
  • Schizophrenia

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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