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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Nov;191:408-14.

Psychophysiological and behavioural characteristics of individuals comorbid for antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061, USA.



Few studies have examined people with comorbid schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, a subgroup who may differ psychophysiologically and behaviourally from those with either condition alone.


To test whether individuals with both types of personality disorder are particularly characterised by reduced orienting and arousal and by increased criminal offending.


In a community adult sample, self-reported crime and skin conductance orienting were collected on four diagnostic groups: schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorder only; antisocial personality disorder only; comorbidity of the two disorders; and a control group.


The comorbid group showed significantly higher levels of criminal behaviour than the other three groups. They also showed reduced skin conductance orienting to neutral tones compared with the other groups, and significantly reduced arousal and orienting to significant stimuli compared with the control group.


Reduced orienting may reflect a neurocognitive attentional risk factor for both antisocial and schizotypal personality disorders that indirectly reflects a common neural substrate to these disorders.

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