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A previous study suggested that schizophrenic subjects exhibit an impaired ability to correct their own errors of movement without using exteroceptive signals. However, the performance of schizophrenic subjects was compared to that of only one other psychiatric group (alcoholic subjects), and a relatively small number of subjects was studied. To investigate the specificity of the postulated impairment, 9 schizophrenic, 11 depressed, and 8 normal subjects performed a tracking task designed to prevent the use of exteroceptive cues in correcting errors of movement. The depressed and normal groups did not differ significantly on any performance measure, but the schizophrenic subjects again demonstrated a gross impairment in correcting errors, yet no impairment in initiating correct responses. These findings suggest that the impaired ability to monitor ongoing motor behavior on the basis of internal, self-generated cues may be specific to schizophrenia among major psychiatric disorders.
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Received in revised form: September 14, 1985
Received: July 1, 1985
☆Supported in part by NIMH Grant MH-30854 to the Norris Mental Health Clinical Research Center at Stanford University and a grant from the Research Service of the Veterans Administration to the Schizophrenia Biologic Research Center at Palo Alto VA Medical Center.
© 1986 Published by Elsevier Inc.