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The relationship between antisaccades, smooth pursuit, and executive dysfunction in first-episode schizophrenia.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Samuel B. Hutton
  • Vyv Huddy
  • Thomas R. E. Barnes
  • Trevor W. Robbins
  • Trevor J. Crawford
  • Christopher Kennard
  • Eileen M. Joyce
Journal publication date15/10/2004
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Number of pages7
Original languageEnglish


Background Both oculomotor and neuropsychologic deficits have been used to support the hypothesis that schizophrenia is associated with prefrontal cortex dysfunction, but studies that have specifically investigated the relationships between these deficits have produced inconsistent findings. Methods We measured both smooth pursuit and antisaccade performance in a large group (n = 109) of patients with first-episode schizophrenia and a group of matched control subjects (n = 59) and investigated the relationship between performance on these tasks and performance on a range of executive tasks. We additionally explored the relationship between these variables and measures of psychopathology at presentation and duration of untreated psychosis. Results Antisaccade errors were significantly correlated with spatial working memory performance. Smooth pursuit gain did not correlate with any neuropsychologic measure. There were no reliable correlations between either oculomotor variables and measures of psychopathology and duration of untreated psychosis. Conclusions These findings suggest that in schizophrenia working memory and antisaccade performance reflect the same abnormal prefrontal substrates and that smooth pursuit is mediated by a separate neural abnormality.