Abnormal exploratory eye movements in schizophrenic patients vs healthy subjects

Acta Neurol Scand. 2001 Dec;104(6):369-76. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0404.2001.00279.x.


Objective: We examined previously described exploratory eye movements abnormalities as biologic markers in schizophrenic patients in comparison with age-matched healthy subjects.

Material and methods: Using an eye-mark recorder, eye movements were analysed for mean gazing time, total number of gazing points, mean eye scanning length, total eye scanning length, and total gazing times as subjects viewed six simple pictures in preparation for copying them.

Results: In-patients, and to a lesser extent, out-patients, with schizophrenia showed a longer gazing time, fewer gazing points, a shorter mean and total eye scanning length. and longer gazing time than healthy subjects. In schizophrenic patients. negative symptom scores were positively correlated with mean gazing time (r = 0.33), and negatively correlated with the total number of gazing points (r = -0.29) as well as, the mean (r = -0.40) and total scanning length (r = -0.46).

Conclusion: Exploratory eye movements are a biologic marker useful for evaluation of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception / physiology