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February 1977

Imagery Mediation of Vocal Emphasis in Flat Affect

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(2):208-212. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770140098011

• The hypothesis that schizophrenics with flat affect have an interference with imagery mediation of language function was derived from clinical impressions that (1) such patients fail to show appropriate voice emphasis, and (2) that word imagery contributes to normal vocal emphasis patterns. Experiment 1 acoustically measured the emphasis patterns in schizophrenics with and without flat affect as they read text controlled for word imagery. Experiment 2 studied the effect of imagery in a pairedassociate learning task in the same patients. The results supported the hypothesis, both for emphasis patterns and learning rates. These findings suggest that flat affect may be the product of factors in the schizophrenic process interacting with cognitive processes that are independent of the disease.