This project uses experimental psychological techniques to examine whether schizophrenic deficits in ocular-motor, cognitive and social tasks result from an impaired ability to suppress inappropriate responses linked to dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex and related brain areas. Data collection from our core sample of 65 medicated schizophrenics and 44 matched normals is complete. We are, however, continuing to test subjects available in both a medicated and a drug free state. This year, in order to elucidate the nature of the psychological effects of pharmacological treatments and to explore differences between typical and atypical neuroleptics, we developed some new experimental procedures that finely examine the temporal dimensions of selective attention and negative priming. We have also modified for use by schizophrenic subjects new experimental measure of working memory and negative priming. In addition, we continued the tasks of preparing our data for analysis and carrying out analyses of already prepared data. This year we paid particular attention to the complex issues involved in eye- movement measurement. In particular, we analyzed memory-guided saccades. The data from these experiments together with other data we have collected on the same subjects raise the possibility of a particular memory deficit in schizophrenic individuals in the 50 to 150 ms range. If this is the case, it would also suggests that schizophrenics may not experience reality as a continuous flow.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Intramural Research (Z01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (SSES)
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U.S. National Institute of Mental Health
United States
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