Awareness of everyday executive difficulties precede overt executive dysfunction in schizotypal subjects

Philip Tyson, Keith R. Laws, Devina D. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much evidence indicates that schizophrenic patients exhibit deficits on tests of executive functioning. It is therefore hypothesized that individuals with high schizotypal personality traits that may have a predisposition to schizophrenia, are also likely to exhibit impairments in neuropsychological tests of executive function. The sample consisted of 65 healthy controls that were divided into high and low scorers on the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ-B: Raine et al., 1995). Participants completed a battery of executive tasks (category and letter fluency, the Hayling test, Zoo map); however, a MANOVA revealed no significant differences between high and low SPQ scorers. Nevertheless, high SPQ scorers scored significantly higher on the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX) self-rating scale of everyday executive problems; and these self-ratings correlated significantly with the disorganisation and cognitive-perceptual features of the SPQ-B, but not with the interpersonal features. This suggests that perceived executive dysfunction is pre-morbidly present and may become evident in test performance only with the onset of schizophrenia itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8 - 14
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2008


  • schizotypy
  • schizophrenia
  • frontal lobes
  • dysexecutive syndrome
  • awareness


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