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Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Nov 1;42(9):781-96.

Eye tracking disorder in schizophrenia is characterized by specific ocular motor defects and is associated with the deficit syndrome.

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  • 1Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21228, USA.


The objective was to determine the relationships between eye tracking disorder (ETD) in schizophrenia, specific ocular motor measures, and the deficit syndrome. Twenty-five normal comparison subjects and 53 schizophrenic patients had eye movements tested with infrared oculography using a sinusoidal target. Patients were assessed with the Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome. For the patients, the distribution of position root mean square error (a global measure of pursuit) was best fit by a mixture of two normal distributions. This information was used to divide the patients into two subgroups, those with and those without ETD. ETD was almost completely accounted for by several specific ocular motor measures and was significantly associated with the deficit syndrome. The finding that ETD was almost completely accounted for by specific measures bridges a gap of interpretation in this field. ETD and the deficit syndrome of schizophrenia may share a common pathophysiology of cerebral cortical-subcortical circuits.

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