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Saccadic Abnormalities in Psychotic-Patients .1. Neuroleptic-Free Psychotic-Patients

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/1995
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychological Medicine
Issue number3
Volume25
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)461-471
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

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.