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J Abnorm Psychol. 1992 Feb;101(1):104-16.

Smooth-pursuit eye tracking in first-episode psychotic patients and their relatives.

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University of Minnesota, Department of Psychology, Minneapolis 55455-0344.


We wished to determine the specificity of smooth-pursuit eye tracking dysfunction to schizophrenia and the prevalences of dysfunction among functionally psychotic and normal individuals. Therefore, we investigated pursuit tracking in a large sample of psychotic patients, normal subjects, and first-degree relatives (N = 482). Patients were recruited as part of an epidemiological study of first-episode psychosis that used a broadly based referral network to identify all cases in a major metropolitan area over a 2 1/2-year period. Patients received diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, psychotic mood disorder, and paranoid or other psychotic disorder based on the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). The distribution of tracking performance was bimodal for the schizophrenic patients and their relatives, perhaps reflecting major gene action. Moreover, poor tracking ran in families. Pursuit tracking dysfunction was relatively specific to schizophrenic patients and their relatives and occurred infrequently in other psychotic patients and normal subjects.

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