Defective interhemispheric transfer in schizophrenia

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Groups of schizophrenics, nurses, and psychiatric controls were trained to perform a manual shape discrimination task. The 20 schizophrenics included 17 outpatients and 3 short-term inpatients: 10 males (mean age 36 yrs) and 10 females (mean age 37.6 yrs). Nurse control Ss were 10 male (mean age 26.3 yrs) and 10 female (mean age 22 yrs) psychiatric nurses or student nurses. Psychiatric control Ss were 8 males (mean age 36.1 yrs) and 10 females (mean age 32.6 yrs). On both of the tasks included in the experiment, the schizophrenic group, but not the control groups, displayed defective intermanual transfer. The performances of the schizophrenics resembled those previously obtained with split-brain monkeys on similar tasks; therefore, it is concluded that the schizophrenics tested suffered from incomplete transfer of stereognostic shape information from 1 cerebral hemisphere to the other. Experiments suggesting poor interhemispheric transfer on auditory tasks in schizophrenics are discussed along with the possibility that certain schizophrenic symptoms are related to defective interhemispheric communication. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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