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Schizophr Res. 1994 Aug;13(1):11-22.

Error-correcting behavior in schizophrenic patients.

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Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.


According to Frith (1987) the positive symptoms of schizophrenic patients result from an impaired central monitoring of their own actions. For motor behavior, this impairment implies deficient corrections of erroneous movements. Several studies found that schizophrenic patients did correct erroneous movements less frequently than various control groups. In these studies, movement errors were induced by instructing subjects to alternate between moving a joystick towards a target or away from it. In our study, 27 chronic schizophrenic patients, 27 healthy and 18 alcoholic controls were subjected to a similar task. Spatial and symbolic compatibility between stimuli and responses were varied in order to induce errors. Schizophrenic patients responded more slowly and took more time to reverse wrong movements than both control groups. They did not show fewer error corrections or increased correction latencies. These results did not support the supposed deficit in central monitoring of action. Schizophrenic patients exhibited more short latency movements with multiple changes of movement direction than the control groups. This may indicate a failure to inhibit the initiation of competing responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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