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The Reality Monitoring Deficit as a Common Neuropsychological Correlate of Schizophrenic and Affective Psychosis

DOI: 10.3390/bs3020244

Keywords: reality monitoring, neuropsychology, psychosis, schizophrenia, affective disorder

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For many decades, Neuropsychological functioning has been a key point in the study of psychotic disorders. The main aim of these studies is to give a description of the neurocognitive “profile” of schizophrenia, with only little attention being paid to the common and discriminating features of different psychotic disorders. Recent studies support the hypothesis that patients affected by psychiatric disorders with psychotic symptoms have specific abnormalities of reality testing of ongoing perception, which become evident with source monitoring task. Ninety-eight patients and 50 controls were studied. Patients were divided by diagnosis and previous history of psychotic features and were administered Source Monitoring Task to test reality testing of ongoing perception. Frequencies of correct and false attributions were recorded. To obtain measures of observer sensitivity and response biases, a signal detection analysis was performed. Aims: Studying neuropsychological correlate of psychosis in euthymic mood disordered patients and patients with schizophrenia with or without delusions. Results: Patients with psychotic features use more lax criteria in evaluating self-generated, but not perceived stimuli compared to patients without psychotic features. Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesis of selective biases in reality monitoring as neuropsychological correlates of psychosis.


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