Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia – A Review of Neurobiology, Diagnosis and Management

Posted on:February 13, 2021
Last Updated: November 24, 2023
Time to read: 21–25 minutes

Schizophrenia is a complex, chronic disorder characterised by a constellation of positive and negative symptoms.  While clinical practice and therapeutics focus significantly on positive symptoms; negative symptoms tend to be associated with a significant social burden and poor outcomes.

Negative symptoms can be divided into two groups:

  1. Decreased emotional expression
  • blunted affect
  • poverty of speech
  1. Avolition
  • amotivation
  • asociality
  • anhedonia

While not necessary for the diagnosis of schizophrenia, DSM-5 lists negative symptom as one of the 5 criteria for the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The NIMH-MATRICS initiative established that the negative domains of schizophrenia can be classified as deficits in motivation (avolition), experiencing pleasure (anhedonia), seeking social interaction (asociality), verbal communication (alogia), and emotional expression. [Kirkpatrick et al. 2006]


Psychiatrie du médecin praticien

Dide M, Guiraud P: Psychiatrie du médecin praticien. Paris, Masson, 1922