Neurological soft signs: Effects of trait schizotypy, psychological distress and auditory hallucination predisposition

de Leede-Smith, Saskia, Roodenrys, Steven, Horsley, Lauren, Matrini, Shannen, Mison, Erin and Barkus, Emma (2017) Neurological soft signs: Effects of trait schizotypy, psychological distress and auditory hallucination predisposition. Schizophrenia Research: Cognition, 7. pp. 1-7. ISSN 2215-0013

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Schizotypy is regarded as a trait vulnerability for psychotic disorders, yet alone is insufficient for development of a diagnosable disorder. Additional symptoms and psychological distress are necessary for help seeking and transition from an at risk mental state to a clinical diagnosis. The present study investigated the interaction between trait schizotypy, state auditory verbal hallucination (AVH) predisposition, distress and handedness for the expression of neurological soft signs (NSS), a neurodevelopmental vulnerability factor for psychosis. Cluster analysis formed schizotypy groups statistically across the dimensions captured by the SPQ. It was hypothesized that schizotypy and AVH predisposition would interact, resulting in significantly greater NSS. Psychological distress and handedness were hypothesized to be significant covariates, accounting for some variance in the expression of NSS between the groups. A sample of University students (n = 327) completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire, Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale, General Health Questionnaire and the Neurological Evaluation Scale (NES). Cluster Analysis revealed four schizotypy groups. Distress was not a significant covariate in any analysis. As expected, those with high overall schizotypy and high AVH predisposition expressed significantly greater Motor-Coordination NSS compared to those with high schizotypy and low AVH predisposition. Within the Mixed Interpersonal and Cognitive-Perceptual Schizotypy cluster, those with low AVH predisposition expressed significantly more Motor-Coordination NSS than those with high AVH predisposition. These findings suggest motor coordination NSS are detectable in schizotypy, and AVH predisposition appears to interact with these traits. This study highlights the importance of considering both trait and subclinical state risk factors when investigating risk for psychosis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Schizotypy, Auditory verbal hallucinations, Neurological soft signs, Psychosis risk, Psychosis continuum, Psychological distress
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2020 15:22
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 11:50

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