The Network Structure of Schizotypal Personality Traits.
ABSTRACT: Elucidating schizotypal traits is important if we are to understand the various manifestations of psychosis spectrum liability and to reliably identify individuals at high risk for psychosis. The present study examined the network structures of (1) 9 schizotypal personality domains and (2) 74 individual schizotypal items, and (3) explored whether networks differed across gender and culture (North America vs China). The study was conducted in a sample of 27001 participants from 12 countries and 21 sites (M age = 22.12; SD = 6.28; 37.5% males). The Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) was used to assess 74 self-report items aggregated in 9 domains. We used network models to estimate conditional dependence relations among variables. In the domain-level network, schizotypal traits were strongly interconnected. Predictability (explained variance of each node) ranged from 31% (odd/magical beliefs) to 55% (constricted affect), with a mean of 43.7%. In the item-level network, variables showed relations both within and across domains, although within-domain associations were generally stronger. The average predictability of SPQ items was 27.8%. The network structures of men and women were similar (r = .74), node centrality was similar across networks (r = .90), as was connectivity (195.59 and 199.70, respectively). North American and Chinese participants networks showed lower similarity in terms of structure (r = 0.44), node centrality (r = 0.56), and connectivity (180.35 and 153.97, respectively). In sum, the present article points to the value of conceptualizing schizotypal personality as a complex system of interacting cognitive, emotional, and affective characteristics.
Project description:One of the most widely used measures of psychosis-related symptoms and characteristics is the 74-item Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Using multidimensional Item Response Theory (bifactor 2-parameter model), we calibrated SPQ items in a sample of 375 youths aged 9-24 years and constructed a fully functional computerized adaptive form of the SPQ on an open-source platform for public use. To assess validity, we used the above parameters to simulate CAT sessions in a separate validation sample (N =?100) using three test-length-based stopping rules: 8 items, 16 items, and 32 items. Those scores were then compared to full-form and SPQ-Brief scores on their abilities to predict psychosis or clinical risk status. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves indicated mediocre predictive ability, but did not differ among any of the forms, even when only eight adaptive items were administered. The Youden index for the 16-item adaptive version was higher than that for the 22-item SPQ-Brief. Classification accuracy for the full SPQ was 73% compared to 66% for the both the SPQ-Brief and adaptive versions (average of three stopping rules). The SPQ-CAT shows promise as a much shorter but valid assessment of schizotypy which can save time with minimal loss of information.
Project description:Given the common use of self-report questionnaires to assess schizotypy in personality pathology and schizophrenia research, it is important to determine the concordance between self-report and clinician ratings. 250 individuals with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) and 116 community controls (CTR) were assessed on schizotypal traits using a clinical interview, the Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality disorders (SIDP), and a self-report questionnaire, the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Ordinal logistic regressions examined concordance between self-reported and clinician-rated scores in CTR and SPD separately. Analyses of variance examined how the SPQ performed on differentiating between CTR with low schizotypy, CTR with high schizotypy, and SPD. For both CTR and SPD, higher SPQ subscale scores were significantly associated with higher clinician ratings on the respective SIDP items for the Ideas of Reference, Magical Thinking, Unusual Perceptual Experience, Suspiciousness, and Social Anxiety items, but not the Odd Speech or Limited Affect items. Higher SPQ subscale scores for Odd Behavior and Lack of Close Friends were significantly associated with the clinician-rated SIDP item scores in CTR but not SPD. CTR with low schizotypy scored lower on all SPQ subscales than CTR with high schizotypy, who did not differ from SPD. Self-report ratings are concordant with clinician ratings for positive schizotypal traits, whereas certain disorganization and interpersonal traits are not, particularly for individuals with SPD. The SPQ can differentiate between high and low schizotypy controls, but not between high schizotypy controls and individuals with SPD. Assessment of schizotypal traits should include both self-report questionnaires and clinician ratings.
Project description:Schizotypy captures the underlying genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia. However, the genetic underpinnings of schizotypy remain unexplored. The authors examined the relationship between single nucleotide poly-morphisms (SNPs) and schizotypy. A sample of 137 subjects (43 healthy controls, 34 subjects with schizotypal personality disorder [SPD], 32 with borderline personality disorder, and 25 with other personality disorders) completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Subjects were genotyped using a custom array chip. Principal component analysis was used to cluster SPQ variables. Linear regression tested for associations between dimensional schizotypy and SNPs. Logistic regression tested for associations between SNPs and SPD diagnosis. There were significant associations between the minor alleles of three SNPs within the glycine receptor alpha 1 subunit (GLRA1) and the disorganized schizotypy dimension, even after Bonferroni correction. There were no significant associations between any SNPs and the categorical SPD diagnosis. Glycine receptor pathways may have an impact on dimensional traits of psychosis.
Project description:The Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) is one of the most widely used screening tools for schizotypy in adults. The Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Child version (SPQ-C) was recently developed to assess schizotypy in children and has a similar three-factor structure to the adult SPQ (i.e., Cognitive-Perceptual, Interpersonal-Affective, and Disorganization). However, few studies to date have reported on the psychometric properties and the usefulness of the SPQ-C in Eastern populations, including Mainland China. This study presents the first psychometric assessment of the Chinese SPQ-C in Mainland China. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were used to assess the factor structure of the SPQ-C in 1668 children (M?=?12.10, SD?=?0.60 years) from the China Jintan Child Cohort Study. Our findings document a three-factor structure and partial measurement invariance across residential location and gender, replicating the psychometric properties of the SPQ-C in English. The Chinese SPQ-C further correlates with standard behavioral problems (i.e., Child Behavior Checklist, Youth Self-Report and Teacher Report Form), demonstrating construct validity and utility as a child psychopathology assessment tool. Our findings provide the first robust psychometric evidence for a three-factor structure of the Chinese SPQ-C in a large Mainland Chinese sample, and suggest that the SPQ-C is suitable as a screening tool for schizotypy in community children who may be at risk for behavioral problems and later psychosis.
Project description:Behavioral and cognitive dysfunction, particularly social and communication impairments, are shared between autism and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, while evidence for a diametric autism-positive schizophrenia symptom profile is inconsistent. We investigated the shared phenotype at a personality trait level, particularly its resemblance to schizoid personality disorder, as well as differential aspects of the autism-schizophrenia model. Items of the autism spectrum quotient (AQ) and schizotypal personality questionnaire (SPQ) were pseudo-randomly combined, and were completed by 449 (162 male, 287 female) non-clinical participants aged 18-40. A factor analysis revealed three factors; the first represented a shared social disorganization phenotype, the second reflected perceptual oddities specific to schizotypy while the third reflected social rigidity specific to autism. The AQ and SPQ were strongly correlated with Factor 1 (AQ: r?=?0.75, p?<?0.001; SPQ: r?=?0.96, p?<?0.001), SPQ score was correlated with Factor 2 (r?=?0.51, p?<?0.001), particularly in cognitive-perceptual features (r?=?0.66, p?<?0.001), and AQ score was strongly correlated with Factor 3 (r?=?0.76, p?<?0.001). Furthermore, there was no relationship between Factor 1 and Factor 2. Thus, there is robust evidence for a shared social disorganization phenotype in autistic and schizotypal tendency, which reflects the schizoid phenotype. Discriminating and independent dimensions of schizotypal and autistic tendency exist in Factors 2 and 3, respectively. Current diagnostic protocols could result in different diagnoses depending on the instrument used, suggesting the need for neuromarkers that objectively differentiate autistic and schizotypal traits and resolve the question of commonality versus co-morbidity.
Project description:Literature suggests that the effect of winter birth on vulnerability to schizophrenia might be mediated by increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines due to prenatal infection and its inadequate regulation by anti-inflammatory factors. As the response of the immune system depends on genotype, this study assessed the interaction effects of cytokine genes and season of birth (SOB) on schizotypy measured with the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ-74). We searched for associations of IL1B rs16944, IL4 rs2243250, and IL-1RN VNTR polymorphisms, SOB, and their interactions with the SPQ-74 total score in a sample of 278 healthy individuals. A significant effect of the IL4 X SOB interaction was found, p = 0.007 and ?2 = 0.028. We confirmed this effect using an extended sample of 373 individuals. Homozygotes CC born in winter showed the highest SPQ total score and differed significantly from winter-born T allele carriers, p = 0.049. This difference was demonstrated for cognitive-perceptual and disorganized but not interpersonal dimensions. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the cytokine genes by SOB interaction can influence variability of schizotypal traits in the general population. The IL4 T allele appeared to have a protective effect against the development of positive and disorganized schizotypal traits in winter-born individuals.
Project description:The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia implies that alterations in the dopamine system cause functional abnormalities in the brain that may converge to aberrant salience attribution and eventually lead to psychosis. Indeed, widespread brain disconnectivity across the psychotic spectrum has been revealed by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). However, the dopaminergic involvement in intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) and its putative relationship to the development of psychotic spectrum disorders remains partly unclear-in particular at the low-end of the psychosis continuum. Therefore, we investigated dopamine-induced changes in striatal iFC and their modulation by psychometrically assessed schizotypy. Our randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study design included 54 healthy, right-handed male participants. Each participant was assessed with the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) and underwent 10 minutes of rs-fMRI scanning. Participants then received either a placebo or 200 mg of L-DOPA, a dopamine precursor. We analyzed iFC of 6 striatal seeds that are known to evoke modulation of dopamine-related networks. The main effect of L-DOPA was a significant functional decoupling from the right ventral caudate to both occipital fusiform gyri. This dopamine-induced decoupling emerged primarily in participants with low SPQ scores, while participants with high positive SPQ scores showed decoupling indifferently of the L-DOPA challenge. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that schizotypal traits may be the result of dopamine-induced striato-occipital decoupling.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Recent studies have found a lack of normal pseudoneglect in schizophrenia patients and in their first degree relatives. Similarly, several contributions have reported that measures of schizotypy in the healthy population may be related to signs of right-sided lateralization, but most of these studies differ greatly in methodology (sample size, choice of schizotypy scales, and laterality tasks) and, consequently, the results cannot be compared and so definitive conclusion cannot be drawn. In this study, our purpose is to investigate whether some tasks of spatial attention may be related to different dimensions of schizotypy not only in a larger sample of healthy subjects (HS), but testing the same people with several supposedly related measures several times. MATERIALS AND METHODS:In the first part of the study (Part I), the performance on "paper and pencil" line bisection (LB) tasks in 205 HS was investigated. Each task was repeated three times. In the second part of the study (Part II), a subgroup of 80 subjects performed a computerized version of the LB test and of the mental number line bisection (MNL) test. In both parts of the study, every subject completed the 74-item version of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) and the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). RESULTS:In both parts of the study, high scores on the subscale "magical thinking" of SPQ have resulted in being closely linked to a decreased pseudoneglect as assessed by the LB task. On the contrary, right handedness is related to an increased leftward bias at the same task. No association was found between MNL and the other variables. DISCUSSION:The main finding of this study is that a decreased spatial leftward bias at the LB task correlates with positive schizotypy in the healthy population. This finding supports the hypothesis that a deviation from leftward hemispatial visual preference may be related to the degree of psychosis-like schizotypal signs in non-clinical population and should be investigated as a possible marker of psychosis.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) lie on a single spectrum of mental illness and converging evidence suggests similarities in the etiology of the 2 conditions. However, schizotypy is a heterogeneous facet of personality in the healthy population and so may be seen as a bridge between health and mental illness. Neural evidence for such a continuity would have implications for the characterization and treatment of schizophrenia. Based on our previous work identifying a relationship between symptomology in schizophrenia and abnormal movement-induced electrophysiological response (the post-movement beta rebound [PMBR]), we predicted that if subclinical schizotypy arises from similar neural mechanisms to schizophrenia, schizotypy in healthy individuals would be associated with reduced PMBR. METHODS:One-hundred sixteen participants completed a visuomotor task while their neural activity was recorded by magnetoencephalography. Partial correlations were computed between a measure of PMBR extracted from left primary motor cortex and scores on the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), a self-report measure of schizotypal personality. Correlations between PMBR and SPQ factor scores measuring cognitive-perceptual, interpersonal and disorganization dimensions of schizotypy were also computed. Effects of site, age, and sex were controlled for. RESULTS:We found a significant negative correlation between total SPQ score and PMBR. This was most strongly mediated by variance shared between interpersonal and disorganization factor scores. CONCLUSION:These findings indicate a continuum of neural deficit between schizotypy and schizophrenia, with diminution of PMBR, previously reported in schizophrenia, also measurable in individuals with schizotypal features, particularly disorganization and impaired interpersonal relations.
Project description:Ironic remarks are frequent in everyday language and represent an important form of social cognition. Increasing evidence indicates a deficit in comprehension in schizophrenia. Several models for defective comprehension have been proposed, including possible roles of the medial prefrontal lobe, default mode network, inferior frontal gyri, mirror neurons, right cerebral hemisphere and a possible mediating role of schizotypal personality traits. We investigated the neural correlates of irony comprehension in schizophrenia by using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In a prosody-free reading paradigm, 15 female patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy female controls silently read ironic and literal text vignettes during fMRI. Each text vignette ended in either an ironic (n = 22) or literal (n = 22) statement. Ironic and literal text vignettes were matched for word frequency, length, grammatical complexity, and syntax. After fMRI, the subjects performed an off-line test to detect error rate. In this test, the subjects indicated by button press whether the target sentence has ironic, literal, or meaningless content. Schizotypal personality traits were assessed using the German version of the schizotypal personality questionnaire (SPQ). Patients with schizophrenia made significantly more errors than did the controls (correct answers, 85.3% vs. 96.3%) on a behavioural level. Patients showed attenuated blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response during irony comprehension mainly in right hemisphere temporal regions (ironic>literal contrast) and in posterior medial prefrontal and left anterior insula regions (for ironic>visual baseline, but not for literal>visual baseline). In patients with schizophrenia, the parahippocampal gyrus showed increased activation. Across all subjects, BOLD response in the medial prefrontal area was negatively correlated with the SPQ score. These results highlight the role of the posterior medial prefrontal and right temporal regions in defective irony comprehension in schizophrenia and the mediating role of schizotypal personality traits.