Teufel C, Kingdon A, Ingram JN, Wolpert DM, Fletcher PC
Neuropsychologia 2010 Dec;48(14):4169-72
Motor control strongly relies on neural processes that predict the sensory consequences of self-generated actions. Previous research has demonstrated deficits in such sensory-predictive processes in schizophrenic patients and these low-level deficits are thought to contribute to the emergence of delusions of control. Here, we examined the extent to which individual differences in sensory prediction are associated with a tendency towards delusional ideation in healthy participants. We used a force-matching task to quantify sensory-predictive processes, and administered questionnaires to assess schizotypy and delusion-like thinking. Individuals with higher levels of delusional ideation showed more accurate force matching suggesting that such thinking is associated with a reduced tendency to predict and attenuate the sensory consequences of self-generated actions. These results suggest that deficits in sensory prediction in schizophrenia are not simply consequences of the deluded state and are not related to neuroleptic medication. Rather they appear to be stable, trait-like characteristics of an individual, a finding that has important implications for our understanding of the neurocognitive basis of delusions.