• prodrome;
  • schizophrenia;
  • self-face recognition;
  • ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis



Phenomenological research indicates that disturbance of the basic sense of self may be a core phenotypic marker of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Self-face recognition (SFR) is an experimental paradigm which can assess the basic sense of self. In this study, we used SFR to determine whether basic self-disturbance is present in the ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis population at the perceptual level.


Twenty-three UHR individuals and 23 healthy comparison subjects were administered the SFR task. The study consisted of a 2 × 3 × 2 design: two group levels (UHR for psychosis group and the healthy comparison group); three task levels (self-famous task, self-stranger task, famous-stranger task); and two hand levels (left hand and right hand). Threshold limit values in face recognition were analysed.


The analysis indicated effects for group (F(1, 43) = 5.197, P < 0.05) and interaction effects between group and task (F = 4.767, P < 0.05). An independent samples t-test was used to compare the threshold limit values of the same task between the two groups. For self-famous task, the threshold limit values of the UHR group were higher than those of healthy group both in the left and right hands (t = 2.734, P < 0.05; t = 2.864, P < 0.05), but no significant difference was found in self-stranger task and famous-stranger task (P > 0.05).


This SFR study indicates that basic self-disturbance is present in the UHR for psychosis at the behavioural level in comparison with a healthy comparison group.