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Brain Cogn. 2006 Aug;61(3):235-42. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Prism adaptation in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, USA.


The prism adaptation test examines procedural learning (PL) in which performance facilitation occurs with practice on tasks without the need for conscious awareness. Dynamic interactions between frontostriatal cortices, basal ganglia, and the cerebellum have been shown to play key roles in PL. Disruptions within these neural networks have also been implicated in schizophrenia, and such disruptions may manifest as impairment in prism adaptation test performance in schizophrenia patients. This study examined prism adaptation in a sample of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (N=91) and healthy normal controls (N=58). Quantitative indices of performance during prism adaptation conditions with and without visual feedback were studied. Schizophrenia patients were significantly more impaired in adapting to prism distortion and demonstrated poorer quality of PL. Patients did not differ from healthy controls on aftereffects when the prisms were removed, but they had significantly greater difficulties in reorientation. Deficits in prism adaptation among schizophrenia patients may be due to abnormalities in motor programming arising from the disruptions within the neural networks that subserve PL.

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