Disrupted latent inhibition in individuals at ultra high-risk for developing psychosis.
The addition of off-the-shelf cognitive measures to established prodromal criteria has resulted in limited improvement in the prediction of conversion to psychosis. Tests that assess cognitive processes central to schizophrenia might better identify those at highest risk. The latent inhibition paradigm assesses a subject's tendency to ignore irrelevant stimuli, a process integral to healthy perceptual and cognitive function that has been hypothesized to be a key deficit underlying the development of schizophrenia. In this study, 142 young people at ultra high-risk for developing psychosis and 105 controls were tested on a within-subject latent inhibition paradigm. Additionally, we later inquired about the strategy that each subject employed to complete the test, and further investigated the relationship between reported strategy and the extent of latent inhibition exhibited. Unlike controls, ultra high-risk subjects did not demonstrate a significant latent inhibition effect. This difference between groups became greater when controlling for strategy. The lack of latent inhibition effect in our ultra high-risk sample suggests that individuals at ultra high-risk for psychosis are impaired in their allocation of attentional resources based on past predictive value of repeated stimuli. This fundamental deficit in the allocation of attention may contribute to the broader array of cognitive impairments and clinical symptoms displayed by individuals at ultra high-risk for psychosis.
Kraus, M; Rapisarda, A; Lam, M; Thong, JYJ; Lee, J; Subramaniam, M; Collinson, SL; Chong, SA; Keefe, RSE
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