Individuals with schizotypal personality traits evaluate criticism more than positive comments

Poster A137, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Preethi Premkumar1, Miguel Granja Espirito-Santo2, Stephanie Blanco1, Juliana Onwumere3, Elizabeth Kuipers3,4; 1Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK, 2School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK, 3King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), Department of Psychology, London, UK, 4NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, London, UK

Background: A close relative’s criticism increases people’s risk for psychosis onset. People with psychosis-like experiences may have altered perception of critical comments (CC) at different frequencies of brain electrical activity, because of greater emotion processing (frontal theta-activity, 4-8 Hz,), effortful information processing (occipital alpha-activity, 8-12 Hz), problem-solving (frontal beta-activity respectively, 14-30 Hz) and active attention (occipital beta-activity respectively, 14-30 Hz). This study aimed to compare power at these frequencies between individuals with high and low schizotypy during CC and positive comments (PC). Methods: 21 individuals with psychometrically-defined high schizotypy and 22 individuals with low schizotypy listened to standardized personally-directed CC, PC and neutral comments (NC). Using electroencephalography, evoked power in theta, alpha and beta frequencies were compared between participant groups during CC, PC and NC. Results: In both groups, fronto-lateral theta-activity was higher during CC than NC, and occipito-lateral alpha-activity was higher during CC than PC. There was a group-by-comment type interaction, in fronto-lateral and occipito-lateral beta activity, such that beta-activity was higher during CC than PC in the high schizotypy group, but lower during CC than PC in the low schizotypy group. Conclusions: Higher theta-activity and alpha-activity in both groups indicate that people normally find CC more emotionally arousing than NC, and need more effort to process CC than PC. The group-by-comment type interaction in beta-activity indicates that people with high schizotypy reflect about CC more than PC, whereas people with low schizotypy reflect about PC more than CC. People with psychosis-like experiences need more flexible family communication.

Topic Area: Translational Research

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