Visual scanning of faces correlates with schizophrenia symptomatology

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Aug;22(6):971-9. doi: 10.1016/s0278-5846(98)00056-6.


1. The purpose of this study was to examine whether quantitative measures of visual scanning of faces correlated with the severity of symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. 2. Preattentive visual fixations (fixations less than or equal to 50.1 ms in duration) were measured while 16 subjects with chronic schizophrenia and 38 comparison subjects scanned slides of human faces. 3. A significant inverse correlation was found between the number of preattentive fixations exhibited during 10 seconds of facial scanning and total Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) scores. 4. This study suggests that measures that probe preattentive processing during scanning of faces could represent a novel paradigm for studying the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eye Movements
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / classification*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Visual Perception*