Eye movements during the Rorschach test in schizophrenia

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2002 Aug;56(4):409-18. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1819.2002.01030.x.


In order to understand relationships between scanning behaviors, characteristics of visual stimuli and the clinical symptoms in schizophrenia, eye movements of 37 schizophrenic patients and 36 controls were recorded using an eye-mark recorder during a free-response period in a Rorschach test. Four cards (I, II, V and VIII) were used. Data were analyzed during 15 s from the presentation of each card. For all cards, the number of eye fixations and the number of eye fixation areas were fewer, and total scanning length and mean scanning length were shorter for schizophrenic patients than for controls. For card II, in the non-popular response group, eye fixation frequency upon area 5 + 6 (red) was higher for schizophrenic patients. For card VIII, in the popular response group, eye fixation frequency upon area 5 + 6 (pink) was lower for schizophrenic patients. For cards II and VIII, the number of eye fixations was inversely correlated with negative symptoms. For card II, total scanning length tended to be inversely correlated with negative symptoms, and mean eye fixation time was correlated with negative symptoms. The number of eye fixation areas was inversely correlated with positive symptoms. For card VIII, eye fixation frequency in a stimulative area tended to be correlated with positive symptoms. Scanning behaviors in schizophrenic patients are affected by characteristics of visual stimuli, and partially by clinical symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eye Movements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rorschach Test*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Visual Perception