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This brief essay offers an incisive summary of a recent research study that was conducted with the aim of establishing a relationship between schizophrenia and reading patterns of the affected patients. The oculomotor Control and phonological processing have been used to correlate schizophrenia and other standard conditions.
Purpose of the research
The main purpose of this research study was to investigate the relationship between Schizophrenia and reading impairments that are usually experienced by individuals when assessed in terms of Oculomotor Control and phonological Processing (Whitford et al., 2013)
The research study made use of a total of 20 participants. All of the participants in the study were outpatients comprising of four females and sixteen males. In order to sample the most appropriate population for the study, each of the participants in the survey was undertaken through a thorough assessment according to the guidelines given in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders manual. Each one of them was supposed to be diagnosed with schizophrenia in order to be suitable for the research study.
Findings of the research
Quite a number of findings were obtained from this research study. To begin with, it was found out that robust eye movement was a common feature among individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. These eye movements were indication that they were having serious difficulty in reading.
Moreover, the difficulty was assessed against the controls. Even when medication was used, the condition did not change. Hence, they had slow rates of reading, and their saccade lengths were rather shorter towards the forward direction. In addition, their fixation durations towards the forward directions were a bit longer. When they were undertaking full text reading, they experienced several instances of regressive saccades (Titone & Levy, 2004).
The second finding of this research study was that reduced perceptual spans were common occurrence among individuals with schizophrenia. In addition, when parafoveal window size was reduced, they were not significantly affected compared to when controls were used. This observation was attributed to a higher foveal processing load. In the third finding, it was established that schizophrenia patients demonstrated gross impairment when standardized reading measures were used and also when
cognitive control of Oculomotor measures were used. Lastly, the four-teen character window and perceptual span reductions had close associations with each other among individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Significance of the finding
The significance of the first finding was that patients who are suffering from schizophrenia usually demonstrate variations in terms of how they move their eyes. Such difficulties demonstrate that they usually experience hardship when reading texts. Readers with dyslexia, poorly skilled readers and beginner readers are also known to experience this characteristic problem observed among the schizophrenia patients (Titone, Holzman & Levy, 2002).
They have more aggressive saccades and slower reading rates. When the results obtained from this research study were compared to the standard reading tests that have been carried out on past studies, the outcomes were the same. Even the most recent study that was carried out on paragraph reading among schizophrenia patients was equally consistent with the findings of this study.
Another significance that can be drawn from the finings is that people with smaller perceptual plans are usually diagnosed with schizophrenia. In other words, their length of effective vision is quite small. For example, lower reading proficiency is a common feature of low perceptual span common among patients diagnosed with dyslexia.
When the findings obtained from this study were compared to past studies involving skilled readers, the results were quite different. The reading rates for schizophrenia patients declined considerably especially when compared to no-window condition (Whitford et al., 2013).
Titone, D., Holzman, P. S., & Levy, D. (2002). Idiom processing in schizophrenia: Literal implausibility saves the day for idiom priming. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 313–320.
Titone, D., & Levy, D. (2004). Lexical competition and spoken word identification in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 68, 75–85.
Whitford, V., O’Driscoll, G. A., Pack, C. C., Joober, R., Malla, A., & Titone, D. (2013). Reading impairments in schizophrenia relate to individual differences in phonological processing and oculomotor control: Evidence from a gaze- contingent moving window paradigm. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(1), 57-75.