Anticipatory pleasure for future rewards is attenuated in patients with schizophrenia but not in individuals with schizotypal traits

Chao Yan, Simon S.Y. Lui, Lai quan Zou, Chuan yue Wang, Fu chun Zhou, Eric F.C. Cheung, David H.K. Shum, Raymond C.K. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The anhedonia paradox is consistently observed in individuals with schizophrenia. However, the underlying mechanism of the dissociation between trait and state hedonic capacity remains unclear. In the present study, we aimed to re-examine anhedonia in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ) and individuals with high schizotypy (HS) using the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task to assess different dimensions of anticipatory and consummatory pleasure. We recruited 44 SCZ patients, 46 matched healthy controls (HC), 30 individuals with HS and 35 with low schizotypy (LS). The modified MID task was used to measure anticipatory and consummatory pleasure in terms of valence and arousal ratings. To measure the predictive value of anticipatory pleasure, participants were asked to predict their hedonic experience before the MID task. For SCZ patients, there was no significant Group main effect or Group × Prize interaction on consummatory pleasantness to reward received or loss avoidance. As expected, SCZ patients (particularly male patients) reported less pleasantness and arousal to future rewards in both the prediction and feeling dimensions compared with HC. Additionally, male patients reported less anticipatory and consummatory negativity than HC. Individuals with HS predicted more arousing experience to high-rewards than LS individuals. They also reported and predicted more negativity to in-the-moment and future monetary losses. Further, the negative dimension of schizotypy predicted low levels of pleasantness and arousal towards future rewards, but the positive dimension predicted increased arousing experience towards future rewards. In conclusion, the anhedonia paradox in schizophrenia could be partially accounted for by the dissociation between anticipatory and consummatory pleasure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Anhedonia
  • Anticipatory pleasure
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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