Attention deficits in childhood-onset schizophrenia: reaction time studies

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



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Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; *Attention; Child; Cohort Studies; Female; Humans; Male; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; *Reaction Time; Schizophrenia, Childhood




The hypothesis of continuity between childhood-onset and adult schizophrenia was tested by comparing the performance of 15 patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia and 52 age-matched controls on 2 reaction time paradigms that have been used to study adult schizophrenia. On simple reaction time to tones with regular and irregular preparatory intervals of 2, 4, and 8 s, patients showed greater effects of the length of the preparatory interval in the regular condition and greater effects of the preparatory interval (girls only) and the preceding preparatory interval in the irregular series. On simple reaction time to random lights and tones, patients were faster on ipsimodal sequences than cross-modal sequences compared with controls. Overall, patients were much slower than controls in both paradigms. The results suggest similar attention dysfunction as is found in adult schizophrenia and thus are consistent with the continuity hypothesis.

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Citation: J Abnorm Psychol. 1998 Feb;107(1):97-108.

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