Introduction: Although considered a promising design for testing social cognition, it is not clear to what extent the EmoBio test of emotion recognition actually predicts community functioning. It is also not clear whether the test measures something unique or different from nonsocial cognition. The present study tests whether EmoBio accounts for GAF function score and two operationalised community outcome measures. The study also analyses cognitive predictors of EmoBio performance, testing whether stimulus modality affects prediction.
Methods: Eighty-three patients with schizophrenia were tested with EmoBio, the cognitive battery MCCB and WAIS-IV.
Results: EmoBio accounted for a significant portion of variance in all three outcome measures. Only EmoBio predicted Lifetime Relationship status, and EmoBio remained a significant predictor of Independent living beyond non-social cognition. All cognitive measures contributed significantly to the variance in EmoBio, but entered together explained only a third of total variance.
Conclusion: The study shows that emotion recognition accounts for community outcome. There was no clear effect of test-modality in predicting EmoBio performance, indicating no method invariance problem with EmoBio. It also indicates that the mechanisms underlying impaired social cognition in schizophrenia are different from the hypothesised non-verbal learning deficits in the disorder.