Research into premorbid indicators for development of schizophrenia have uncovered a link between vision and speech processing and the development of schizophrenia.
To explore the relationship between visual and speech processing, Veronica Whitford of the Department of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal conducted a study on 36 individuals, 20 of whom had a history of schizophrenia. Using several tests, Whitford assessed the participants’ eye movements, executive processing functions and comprehension. She found that the participants with schizophrenia had higher levels of eye movement than the controls, which led to more reading challenges and slower reading. These individuals exhibited difficulties in comprehension and had problems converting the written words into phonetically correct speech.
This is discovery could eventually lead to screening tools being developed to predict a persons likelihood of developing the mental illness. This would allow early intervention to be targeted at those deemed most at risk.
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