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Emotional processing deficits in chronic cannabis use: A replication and extension

Hindocha, C; Wollenberg, O; Carter Leno, V; Alvarez, BO; Curran, HV; Freeman, TP; (2014) Emotional processing deficits in chronic cannabis use: A replication and extension. Journal of Psychopharmacology , 28 (5) 466 - 471. 10.1177/0269881114527359. Green open access

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Abstract

Heavy cannabis use is associated with interpersonal problems that may arise in part from the inaccurate perception of emotional faces. Only one study reports impairments in emotional facial affect processing in heavy cannabis users; however, it is not clear whether these findings were attributable to differences between cannabis users and controls in schizotypy or gender, rather than from cannabis use itself. A total of 25 frequent cannabis users and 34 non-using controls completed an emotional processing task in an independent groups design. We asked participants to identify the emotions on faces morphed from neutral to 100% intensity, for six basic emotions. We measured percentage hit rate, sensitivity and response bias. Schizotypy was indexed using the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire. Cannabis users showed lower accuracy and sensitivity on the emotional recognition task. Gender and schizotypy did not differ between the two groups. Men showed lower accuracy on the emotional processing task, but impairments in cannabis users remained when covarying for gender. Schizotypy negatively correlated with sensitivity scores, but this was unreliable when accounting for the groups. Chronic cannabis users showed generalised impairment in emotional processing. These results appeared as independent of the emotional processing deficits amongst men, and were not related to schizotypy.

Type: Article
Title: Emotional processing deficits in chronic cannabis use: A replication and extension
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0269881114527359
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881114527359
Language: English
Additional information: This is the authors' accepted version of this published article.
Keywords: Cannabis, drug use, emotional processing, facial affect, gender, response bias, schizotypy, sensitivity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1424903
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