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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2003 Aug;57(4):391-7.

Auditory discrimination in female adolescents varying in schizotypal features: preliminary findings.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Medical Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Graduate Institute of Behavioral Science, Chang Gung University, Taipei, Taiwan. chiang-shan.li@yale.edu

Abstract

Earlier experiments have suggested impaired auditory perception in patients with schizophrenia. The purpose of the present study was to investigate auditory discrimination in young adults varying in schizotypal features. Three hundred and forty-nine female adolescent subjects were rated with the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) and the Perceptual Aberration Scale (PAS) and with questions from the Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ) that address non-psychotic, psychological status of the subjects. Sixty-one subjects were selected to participate in an auditory detection and discrimination task, with 20 subjects each with low and high, and 21 subjects with intermediate, SPQ scores. The sensitivity in auditory discrimination and the response bias were computed, using signal detection theory. The results show that the ratings of the subjects in the three questionnaires correlate with one another and that subjects with higher SPQ scores appear to perform worse in auditory discrimination. The impaired performance occurs for most of the signal-to-noise ratios. Taken together, these preliminary findings are consistent with earlier studies demonstrating impaired auditory processing in schizophrenia patients. In contrast, the significant correlation between both the SPQ and PAS scores and the CHQ score suggests that further studies are required to rule out the effect of non-psychotic factors such as anxiety on the current results. Second, the three groups of subjects did not differ in the response bias. This latter finding provides evidence at odds with the 'self-monitoring' model of auditory hallucination.

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