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Keywords:

  • Schizophrenia;
  • Eye-movement control;
  • EEG;
  • Genetics

Abstract

Although errant saccadic eye movements may mark genetic factors in schizophrenia, little is known about abnormal brain activity that precedes saccades in individuals with genetic liability for schizophrenia. We investigated electrophysiological activity preceding prosaccades and antisaccades in schizophrenia patients, first-degree biological relatives of schizophrenia patients, and control subjects. Prior to antisaccades, patients had reduced potentials over lateral prefrontal cortex. Smaller potentials were associated with worse antisaccade performance. Relatives also exhibited reduced pre-saccadic potentials over lateral frontal cortex but additionally had reduced potentials over parietal cortex. Both patients and relatives tended toward increased activity over orbital frontal cortex prior to saccades. Results are consistent with lateral prefrontal dysfunction marking genetic liability for schizophrenia and underlying deficient saccadic control.