Visual backward masking performance is modulated by sex and schizotypy

Deficits in visual backward masking (VBM) may be a stable marker (i.e. endophenotype) of schizophrenia: it is present in patients, their relatives, and healthy individuals (mainly women) scoring high in „cognitive disorganisation” (CD), a schizotypal feature (Cappe et al., 2012). Schizotypy is a nonclinical thinking style commonly assessed in the healthy population. The thought content is qualitatively similar yet quantitatively milder to the one reported from patients with schizophrenia. To test whether VBM as a function of CD is evident in both men and women, we investigated VBM in 29 men and 27 women varying in their selfreported schizotypy (short O-LIFE questionnaire), together with a control task (Wisconsin Card Sorting Task; WCST). We replicated VBM deficits as a function of elevated CD, but only in women. WCST performance was unrelated to sex and schizotypy. Results support the view that VBM, but not WCST, is a potential endophenotype. The current sex difference in VBM launches questions regarding possible hormonal effects or even sex-specific self-report measures biases.

Presented at:
18th Meeting of European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP), Budapest, Hungary, Aug/Sep 2013

 Record created 2014-05-16, last modified 2018-09-13

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