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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1992 Feb;180(2):89-93.

Attention/information-processing factors in psychotic disorders. Replication and extension of recent neuropsychological findings.

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Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston.


The scores of attention/information-processing measures derived from neuropsychological testing of 34 chronic psychotic, primarily schizophrenic patients were subjected to a principal components analysis. Measures were chosen a priori on the basis of a previous factor-analytic study by A.F. Mirsky (1987, Behavioral and psychophysiological markers of disordered attention, Environmental Health Perspectives 74:191-199). The factor pattern in the present study was strikingly similar to that reported by Mirsky on a largely nonpsychotic sample. In both studies, four factors emerged that may be identified as: a) perceptual motor speed; b) mental control (numerical-mnemonic); c) flexibility; and d) vigilance. This replication provides support for previously postulated types of attention and suggests that schizophrenic and other psychotic disorders are not associated with atypical organization of attention/information-processing dimensions. The authors discuss questions raised by Mirsky's previous results in light of the present findings. In particular, it was concluded that the flexibility factor requires further clarification. Implications of the findings for clinical evaluation and research in schizophrenia are discussed as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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