Association of working memory deficit and eye tracking dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Park S, Holzman PS
Schizophr Res. 1993 11 (1): 55-61

PMID: 8297805 · DOI:10.1016/0920-9964(93)90038-k

This study replicates our earlier findings that schizophrenic but not bipolar patients are impaired on oculomotor delayed response tasks, analogous to those used to assess spatial working memory functions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in monkeys (Park and Holzman, 1992). In addition, we examined the relation between working memory deficits and smooth pursuit eye movement (SPEM) dysfunction, since data from human neuropsychological and animal lesion studies implicate prefrontal pathology in both deficits. Schizophrenic patients showed marked deficits in the oculomotor memory task and the SPEM task relative to the control groups. However, they were not impaired on the oculomotor sensory task in which their responses were guided by external cues rather than by working memory. This result from outpatients replicates our earlier study which was conducted with inpatients. Within the schizophrenic group those patients with good eye tracking performed better than those with impaired pursuit on the oculomotor memory task but there was no correlation between SPEM and performance on the sensory task. These findings support the hypothesis that schizophrenics show a deficit in representational processes and add to the growing evidence for involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenic pathology.

MeSH Terms (16)

Attention Bipolar Disorder Female Humans Male Mental Recall Orientation Prefrontal Cortex Psychiatric Status Rating Scales Pursuit, Smooth Reaction Time Receptors, Dopamine D1 Receptors, Dopamine D2 Schizophrenia Schizophrenic Psychology Visual Perception

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