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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Eye movements, trait impulsivity, and hypomania proneness in healthy young adults Ayala Castañeda, Juana


Bipolar disorder is defined as a brain disorder characterized by extreme mood fluctuations that result in changes in energy and disability. Enhanced impulsivity is present in episodes of mania or hypomania in bipolar disorder, of particular importance are factors of impulsivity such as inability to predict or anticipate future events. Delineating trait versus state components of impulsivity helps identify risk factors for bipolarity and evaluate disease progression. Eye movements have been used to assess impulse control as well as predictive and anticipatory mechanisms. Here, we use a subsyndromal approach to relate eye movement measures to impulsivity and hypomania proneness in a cohort of young adults not previously diagnosed with a psychiatric disease. We assessed 60 participants (20 males, 40 females) in the antisaccade task, and a smooth pursuit battery that include a sinusoidal pursuit paradigm and a predictive pursuit task. Participants additionally completed the Hypomanic Personality Scale and Barrat Impulsiveness Scale. We found positive relationships of small effect size between mean number of express saccades in antisaccade trials and deceleration after target extinction in predictive pursuit with hypomania proneness. We also show a negative trend of small effect size between initial eye acceleration with hypomania proneness. Given that we tested healthy participants and assessed hypomania proneness, our results might suggest a state-related component of impulsivity. However, all results must be interpreted with caution as none are statistically significant.

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