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Psychophysiology. 1999 Jul;36(4):464-8.

Amplitude criteria and anticipatory saccades during smooth pursuit eye movements in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, USA.


Increased frequency of anticipatory saccades during smooth pursuit eye movements is a potential marker of genetic risk for schizophrenia even in the absence of clinical symptomology. The operational definition of anticipatory saccades has often included an amplitude criterion; however, these amplitude criteria have often differed across studies. This study reports on the effect of varying amplitude criteria on the effect size in a comparison of 29 schizophrenic adults and 29 normal subjects during a 16.7 degrees/s constant velocity task. The inclusion of small amplitude anticipatory saccades, with amplitudes of 1-4 degrees, consistently increased effect size (largest effect size = 1.61). The inclusion of large anticipatory saccades, with amplitudes of 4 degrees or greater, had an inconsistent impact on effect size. The separation of anticipatory saccades into leading saccades (anticipatory saccades with amplitude 1-4 degrees) and large anticipatory saccades (amplitude > 4 degrees) deserves further exploration.

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