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

J Psychiatr Res. 1998 Sep-Oct;32(5):289-95. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3956(98)00019-3.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Eye Movements*
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / genetics
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Phenotype
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity