Journal Article

Neurocognitive Correlates of Schizotypy in First Degree Relatives of Schizophrenia Patients

Meinte G. Vollema and Belinda Postma

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 28, issue 3, pages 367-378
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a006946
Neurocognitive Correlates of Schizotypy in First Degree Relatives of Schizophrenia Patients

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We examined neurocognitive correlates of three dimensions of schizotypy in 63 healthy first degree relatives of schizophrenia patients. Neurocognitive measures of attention, verbal memory, and prefrontal functioning were combined with self-report and interview measures of schizotypy. State-psychopathology (anxiety and depression) was a strong predictor for positive schizotypy (PS) and negative schizotypy (NS). PS was slightly correlated to verbal long-term memory, therefore weakly supporting the hypothesis that temporal-limbic malfunctioning underlies PS. NS was not correlated to any prefrontal measure, and therefore no evidence was found for the hypothesis that prefrontal malfunctioning underlies NS. Disorganization schizotypy (DS) was strongly correlated to the false alarm variable of the Continuous Performance Test (CPT), probably supporting the hypothesis of orbitofrontal malfunctioning underlying DS. This correlational pattern of DS echoes closely two schizophrenia studies reporting a relationship between formal thought disorder and the false alarm CPT variable. This similarity, across schizophrenia and relatives samples, may be considered as evidence that false alarms on the CPT and (subtle) problems in goal directedness of thinking are indicators of a genetically determined vulnerability to schizophrenia.

Keywords: Schizotypy; multidimensionality; neurocognition; first degree relatives

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Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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