J Abnorm Psychol 2001 May;110(2):290-6
Prior research has demonstrated a reliable deficit in performance accuracy (e.g., d') on sustained-attention tasks in relation to psychometrically identified schizotypy and clinically diagnosed schizotypal psychopathology. The present study sought to expand the understanding of sustained-attention performance in relation to psychometric schizotypy through a study of reaction time (RT) performance. In this study, the author examined performance accuracy and RT on a high-load, sustained-attention task, the Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs (CPT-IP) version, in 31 high Perceptual Aberration Scale (PAS) and 26 normal control (control PAS) subjects from a large university population. High PAS (psychometric schizotypy) subjects displayed significantly longer RT performance on the CPT-IP relative to controls. The RT slowing was not explained by mental state or general intellectual ability factors. Contrary to expectation, a difference in performance accuracy (e.g., d') was not observed between the groups; however, power and other considerations cloud the interpretation of this finding. The meaning of the observed RT slowing is examined and its relation to current models of the development of schizophrenia is discussed.