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The relationship of information-processing deficits and clinical symptoms in schizotypal personality disorder

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      Individuals with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) are thought to be phenotypically related to individuals with schizophrenia. This assumption is partially supported by the fact that SPD patients have deficits on biological markers similar to those found in schizophrenia. Visual backward masking (VBM) performance and critical stimulus duration (CSD), measures of information processing found to be abnormal in schizophrenia patients, were assessed in 14 SPD and 21 comparison subjects. There was no significant difference between groups in VBM performance; however; there were significant correlations between VBM deficits and the number of SPD symptoms, as well as elevated scores on the Ego Impairment Index (EII). Additionally, there was a trend (p = .056) toward elevations in CSD in the SPD versus the comparison group and CSD inflation appears to be most prominent in individuals with a greater number of social deficit symptoms and elevated physical anhedonia scores. These findings suggest an important relationship between symptoms of SPD and neurophysiologic deficits.

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