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J Psychiatr Res. 1998 Sep-Oct;32(5):289-95.

Exploratory eye movement dysfunctions in patients with schizophrenia: possibility as a discriminator for schizophrenia.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.


In our previous studies patients with schizophrenia and their parents had less frequent eye fixations and a more limited area of inspection than normal controls while freely viewing stationary S-shaped figures. The present study attempted to discriminate schizophrenics from non-schizophrenics using exploratory eye movements. Two groups (A and B) were formed, each comprising 30 schizophrenic and 70 non-schizophrenic subjects (10 each of patients with depression, methamphetamine psychosis, alcohol psychosis, anxiety disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy, frontal lobe lesions and healthy normal controls). Discriminant analysis was performed on group A to obtain a discriminant. The validity of applying this discriminant to group B was investigated. By focussing on exploratory eye movements, schizophrenics could be discriminated from non-schizophrenics with a sensitivity of 76.7% and a specificity of 81.4%. These results show that exploratory eye movements are a useful discriminator for schizophrenia.

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