Section 68
Chapter 67,882

Chronic Schizophrenic Disorder

White, C.; Farley, J.; Charles, P.

British Journal of Psychiatry 150(3): 365-373


ISSN/ISBN: 0007-1250
DOI: 10.1192/bjp.150.3.365
Accession: 067881973

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Bilateral palmar skin conductance and heart rate were measured throughout a series of psychological tests and during both sitting and ambulant social interactions in 14 right-handed men with chronic schizophrenic disorder and 12 healthy volunteers matched for age and handedness. Miniature radio telemetry equipment was used to collect the physiological data. The schizophrenic group was effectively unresponsive to 70-dB auditory stimuli, while all but one of the control group responded and habituated to a nil response by the tenth tone in sequence. The schizophrenic group showed some evidence of increased skin conductance activity at rest, and in socially demanding conditions skin conductance level and variability were increased in the right hand. The present group of electrodermal 'non-responders' was not in general autonomically under-active. Asymmetry of skin conductance activity during social interaction may be a characteristic of chronic schizophrenic disorder.

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