Evaluation of aesthetic pleasure in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, using the eye-tracking methodology

Maria Chiara Pino, Cinzia Di Dio, Francesca Pacitti, Rodolfo Rossi, Roberto Vagnetti, Ilenia Le Donne, Antonella Marchetti, Monica Mazza

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Aesthetic perception plays a significant role in social behavior. The ability to recognize and perceive beauty is important for social situations in that it can create different expectations about human behav- ior. It has been hypothesized that the aesthetic experience is characterized by emotional and hedonic responses to the stimuli. People with schizophrenia are characterized by the presence of negative symp- toms, such as anhedonia, which affect daily social functioning. We explored the idea that the presence of anhedonia and an impairment in the subjective experience of pleasure in people with schizophrenia could play a key role, affecting their ability to experience and perceive aesthetic pleasure and, conse- quently, negatively affecting their social behavior. We evaluated the ability to perceive aesthetics aes- thetic perception ability in people with schizophrenia (schizophrenia group, SG) compared to a control group (CG), using the golden beauty behavioral task, which requires subjects to judge the proportions and aesthetics of masterpieces of classical art. Gazing behavior was also recorded while performing the task using eye-tracker methodology. Our results showed that the SG did not present different behaviors between stimuli types, while the CG evaluated canonical sculptures as more pleasant and fixed them longer. The SG’s subjective aesthetic experience of canonical stimuli seems to be affected by their awareness of cognitive issues, evaluated by the Subjective Scale to Investigate Cognition in Schizophrenia (SSTICS), and thus these dimensions could be important aspects of their altered aesthetic experience.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)16-28
Numero di pagine13
RivistaPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • aesthetic perception ability
  • eye-tracking
  • golden beauty task
  • schizophrenia
  • social cognition


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