Anhedonia refers to the diminished ability to experience pleasure and is one of the negative symptoms commonly shared by different mental disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. The advance of neuroscience, clinical science and psychology in both animal and human research has suggested anhedonia is a multidimensional construct that comprises at least two components, namely the consummatory and anticipatory pleasure. These new empirical findings have urged scholars and clinicians to re-conceptualize the construct of negative symptoms assessment in schizophrenia and related disorders.
Adopting the affective neuroscience approach of negative symptoms, Dr. Raymond Chan’s team from the NACN Laboratory, the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed and validated a series of tools to assess negative symptoms, especially targeting anhedonia, in patients with schizophrenia and individuals with subclinical features of schizotypy. Dr. Chan has recently organized two workshops on the assessment of negative symptoms in mental disorders in Beijing (July 7-8 2021) and Shanghai (July 17-18 2021), respectively. The main aims of the workshop were to introduce a set of assessments based on the new theoretical framework of negative symptoms to clinicians and scholars, to standardize the use of negative symptoms assessment in clinical settings, to strengthen existing collaborative bonds and to facilitate further research potential. The content of the two workshops covered a theoretical framework of new construct of negative symptoms, and specific tools developed based on this new construct ranging from self-report, clinical rating, behavioural tasks and task-based imaging paradigms. Moreover, application of magnetic resonance spectroscopy to the assessment of negative symptoms was also introduced.
Presenters of the Beijing workshop included: Drs. Raymond Chan, Ya Wang, Yi Wang, Miss Ling-ling Wang from the NACN Laboratory, Dr. Fangrong Zong from the Institute of Biophysics and Dr. Ying Li from the Beijing Children Hospital. More than 30 participants had attended the workshop including colleagues and students from the 6th Hospital of the Peking University, the Beijing Anding Hospital, the Beijing Huilongguan Hospital, the Beijing Children Hospital, Weifang Medical School, Institute of Biophysics, and Institute of Psychology.
Presenters of the workshop in Shanghai included: Drs. Raymond Chan, Ya Wang, Yi Wang, Miss Ling-ling Wang from the NACN Laboratory, Dr. Gaiying Li from China East Normal University, Dr. Ying Li from the Beijing Children Hospital, and Mr. Shuaibiao Li from Shanghai Mental Health Centre. More than 40 participants had attended the workshop including colleagues and students from the Shanghai Mental Health Centre, the Changning Hospital, the Guangji Hospital from Suzhou, China East Normal University, Shanghai Normal University, and Institute of Psychology.
In summary, these two workshops were held successfully and have achieved the main aims to facilitate and strengthen the existing collaboration among the attendees and started off potential work on standardizing the new generation set of negative symptoms assessment. It was a fruitful event to facilitate further collaboration among scholars and clinicians.
The workshop was sponsored by the Philip K. H. Wong Foundation.
A group photo at the Beijing Workshop
A Snapshot at the Shanghai workshop