Lateralized attentional abnormality in schizophrenia is correlated with severity of symptoms

Steven A. Harvey, Elliot Nelson, John W. Haller, Terrence S. Early

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have demonstrated a lateralized impairment of attention in schizophrenia. In this study, attention in schizophrenia is investigated with a task that involves centering a rod while blindfolded. Symptoms were rated on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) for each of the 20 schizophrenic subjects. The more symptomatic patients demonstrated a right-sided hemineglect compared to the less symptomatic patients (p = 0.013). Furthermore, the difference between more and less symptomatic patients was even more distinct when they were categorized by the BPRS schizophrenia subscale alone (p = 0.0025). These findings support the hypothesis that the pathophysiology of schizophrenia involves a lateralized defect in the control of attention, and that this defect is associated with the severity of symptoms. This raises the possibility that effects of neuroleptic medication may be asymmetric, which could account for some of the inconsistencies in studies of hemispheric dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1993


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