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Saccadic abnormalities in psychotic patients I: neuroleptic-free psychotic patients

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1995
JournalPsychological Medicine
Journal number3
Volume25
Number of pages11
Pages461-471
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Most of the previous research reporting abnormalities of rapid re-fixation eye
movements (saccades) in patients with schizophrenia has used patients receiving neuroleptic
medication. In this study non-neuroleptically medicated schizophrenics were compared with other
psychiatric patients using a variety of saccadic paradigms to determine the specificity of saccadic
dysfunction. The patient groups consisted of schizophrenics (N = 18), bipolar affectives (N = 18),
anxiety neurotics (N = 10) and normal controls (N = 31), none of whom had received neuroleptic
medication for the preceding 6 months. Four behavioural paradigms, reflexive, predictive,
remembered and ANTI were used to elicit saccades. The primary abnormality in the schizophrenic
group was a significantly increased rate of distractibility in the ANTI (saccades made towards the
target rather than in an opposite direction) and REM (saccades made prior to the imperative cue)
paradigms. The major neuropsychological variable predictive of these errors was Wisconsin card
sort perseverative errors. These data, in conjunction with findings from previous neurological
research, would seem to provide converging evidence towards dysfunction of prefrontal cortex in
schizophrenia.