Self-monitoring in schizophrenia: Weighting exteroceptive visual signals against self-generated vestibular cues.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Schizophr Res Cogn, 2022, 29, pp. 100256
Issue Date:
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Disturbances in self-monitoring are core symptoms of schizophrenia. Some research suggests an over-reliance on exteroceptive cues and a reduced weighting of self-generated interoceptive signals to guide perception. The vestibular sense provides important self-generated information about the body in space. Alterations of vestibular function are reported in schizophrenia, but it is unknown whether internally generated vestibular information is discounted in favour of exteroceptive input. In this study, we test for evidence of an over-reliance on exteroceptive visual cues and a reduced weighting of vestibular signals in guiding perception. In a group of individuals with schizophrenia and healthy controls, we used a well-studied visual illusion - the Tilt Illusion - to probe the respective weight given to visual and vestibular cues in judging line orientation. The Tilt Illusion reveals that perceived orientation of a vertical grating is biased by the orientation in its surround. This illusion increases when the head is tilted, due to the reduced reliability of vestibular information that would otherwise provide an internally generated reference for vertical. We predicted that an over-reliance on exteroceptive cues in schizophrenia would lead to a reduced susceptibility to the effects of head position on Tilt Illusion strength. We find no difference between patients and controls. Both groups show comparable Tilt Illusion magnitudes that increase when the head is tilted. Thus, our findings suggest that chronic patients with schizophrenia adequately combine self-generated vestibular cues and exteroceptive visual input to judge line verticality. A stronger reliance on exteroceptive information over internally generated signals in guiding perception is not evident in our data. Deficits in self-monitoring might therefore be modality specific or state dependant.
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