Contradictions of Emotion in Schizophrenia

In my talk, I will attempt to explain the “Kretschmerian para­dox”, ­the fact that patients in the schi­zo­phre­nia spec­trum can, at the same time, expe­rience both exag­ge­ra­ted and dimi­ni­shed levels of affec­tive res­ponse. Recent research on emo­tion in schi­zo­phre­nia is revie­wed, inclu­ding sub­jec­tive reports as well as psy­cho­phy­sio­lo­gi­cal mea­su­res of arou­sal or acti­va­tion, with spe­cial atten­tion to flat-affect and nega­tive-symp­tom patients. After a sum­mary of rele­vant concepts and voca­bu­lary of emo­tion (inclu­ding the notions of “affect,” “emo­tion,” “mood,” “fee­lings,” and the “pas­sions”), the need for a phe­no­me­no­lo­gi­cal approach focu­sing on sub­jec­tive expe­rience is pro­po­sed. Four modes of non­pa­ra­noid abnor­mal expe­rience in schi­zo­phre­nia are then dis­cus­sed in light of their impli­ca­tions for affect or emo­tion : Bodily Alienation (alie­na­tion of the lived body), fol­lo­wed by three muta­tions of the lived world : Disengagement (often called derea­li­za­tion or deper­so­na­li­za­tion), Unworlding (frag­men­ted per­cep­tion and loss of affor­dan­ces), and Subjectivization (preoc­cu­pa­tion with a quasi-delu­sio­nal world crea­ted by the self). The paper conclu­des with phe­no­me­no­lo­gi­cal com­pa­ri­sons among the four modes, and with spe­cu­la­tions concer­ning pos­si­ble rela­tion­ships bet­ween psy­cho­phy­sio­lo­gi­cal mea­su­res and sub­jec­tive emo­tio­nal or affec­tive res­ponse. Overall, my paper cons­ti­tu­tes an argu­ment in favor of a phe­no­me­no­lo­gi­cally based, non-Cartesian approach to the study of affect and emo­tion in schi­zo­phre­nia, with empha­sis on the embo­died and embed­ded nature of human sub­jec­ti­vity.

Le Séminaire d’Epistémologie des Sciences Cognitives béné­fi­cie du sou­tien du Cluster 14

Informations : roy/ENS/seminaire_esc.htm