Smooth pursuit eye movement and directional motion contrast sensitivity in schizophrenia
Slaghuis, WL, Bowling, AC & French, RV 2005, ‘Smooth pursuit eye movement and directional motion contrast sensitivity in schizophrenia’, Experimental Brain Research, vol. 166, no. 1, pp. 89-101.
Although the occurrence of visual processing and eye-movement disorders in schizophrenia have been widely recognized, their relationship with the symptoms of schizophrenia is less well understood. In two experiments the relationship between directional-motion processing and smooth-pursuit eye movement was investigated in normal observers and in groups with positive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. The first experiment measured linear smooth-pursuit eye movement at six target velocities from 5.0 to 30.0 degrees and the second experiment measured directional motion-contrast sensitivity at three spatial (1.0, 4.0 and 8.0 c/deg) and five temporal (0.75, 3.0, 6.0, 12.0 and 18.0 Hz) frequencies in the same groups of observers. No significant differences were found between the control and positive-symptom group in directional motion-contrast sensitivity and smooth-pursuit eye movements. In comparison, a relationship was found between a significant reduction in directional motion-contrast sensitivity and significantly reduced smooth-pursuit eye movement in the negative-symptom group and serves to further cleave the distinction between positive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. The relationship between visual motion processing and pursuit eye movement in the negative-symptom group was explained by a disorder in directional motion processing that fails to fully engage the pursuit eye movement system and reduces smooth pursuit eye-velocity gain.