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Lateral ventricle size, smooth pursuit eye tracking and neuropsychological test performance in chronic schizophrenia Shepard Tallman, Karen


The relationships between lateral ventricle size, smooth pursuit eye tracking, and neuropsychological test performance were investigated using a sample of 30 chronic schizophrenic inpatients. There were no significant correlations between any of the measures. Compared to a control group of normal volunteers, the schizophrenic patients showed abnormally poor eye tracking accuracy but did not show lateral ventricular enlargement. Compared to a group of age matched non-schizophrenic psychiatric patients, the schizophrenic patients were impaired on six out of ten neuropsychological tests. As there was no evidence of lateral ventricle enlargement, it is clear that eye tracking impairment and deficits on neuropsychological tests may occur independently of enlarged lateral ventricles. The absence of relationships between impairments on the neuropsychological tests and poor eye tracking is not thought to be the result of restricted performance ranges for any of the measures. The most parsimonious conclusion is that there is no relationship between eye tracking and the variety of neuropsychological functions assessed in this study. However, an alternative possibility is that the study sample was too homogeneously impaired, and a relationship between eye tracking impairment and neuropsychological deficits might emerge in a more diverse sample representative of the range of individuals currently diagnosed as schizophrenic.

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