Article

Predictive smooth eye pursuit in a population of young men: II. Effects of schizotypy, anxiety and depression.

Cognition and Action Group, Neurology Department, Medical School, Aeginition Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Experimental Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.17). 12/2011; 215(3-4):219-26. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-011-2888-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Smooth pursuit eye movement dysfunction is considered to be a valid schizophrenia endophenotype. Recent studies have tried to refine the phenotype in order to identify the specific neurophysiological deficits associated with schizophrenia. We used a variation of the smooth eye pursuit paradigm, during which the moving target is occluded for a short period of time and subjects are asked to continue tracking. This is designed to isolate the predictive processes that drive the extraretinal signal, a process previously reported to be defective in schizophrenia patients as well as their healthy relatives. In the current study, we investigated the relationship between predictive pursuit performance indices and age, education, non-verbal IQ, schizotypy and state anxiety, depression in 795 young Greek military conscripts. State anxiety was related to better predictive pursuit performance (increase in residual pursuit gain), while disorganized schizotypy was related to deficient predictive pursuit performance (decreased residual gain). This effect was independent of the effect of disorganized schizotypy on other oculomotor functions supporting the hypothesis that predictive pursuit might be specifically affected in schizophrenia spectrum disorders and could be considered as a distinct oculomotor endophenotype.

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